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Just Under the Clouds

Cover: 'Just Under the Clouds'

Staff Review: "Just Under the Clouds" by Melissa Sarno


Cora lives in Brooklyn and loves to climb trees. She was taught by the best, her father. Now with her father gone, her family is struggling and basically homeless, shuttling from one unsafe shelter to another. A middle schooler, Cora is responsible for looking after her younger sister, Adare, while her mother works. Adare is “special:" she was deprived of oxygen when she was born and communicates and sees the world differently. When they discover that their room at the current shelter was vandalized while they were away, Cora’s mother asks her childhood best friend, Willa, if they can temporarily stay with her. Willa is a lawyer and her place is unlike any other they have known with a full refrigerator, and best of all, it’s safe. Willa is kind and wants the best for all of them, but she clashes with Cora’s mother who wants to live life on her own terms and do things her own way. When Cora discovers the very high "Tree of Heaven" which grows even in the worst of places and conditions, she obsesses about climbing it, even though it seems impossible. This beautiful, heartfelt story of love, home and belonging will strike a chord with every reader that will not easily be forgotten. I highly recommend it!

Audience: children, tweens | Genre: fiction

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