There could not be a better message told, in a more intriguing way, than Piece by Piece, by Wendy Naarup. Molly, a tween, is bullied, lacks confidence, and despairs to the point of suicide. The author then uses a wonderfully crafted, page-turning, dream-like sequence where Molly learns that no one can see inside another person’s life, to imagine their suffering, to understand their actions. The lesson is non-judgment of ourselves and others; seeing the precious gift of life in ourselves and even those we have been hurt by or don’t understand.
Molly’s grandmother reminded me of my own and deeply touched my heart. Sharing family stories – not just lecturing – was what her Nona called putting “sauce on the pasta.” Naarup has written a saucy tale with many inspiring lessons to digest under the captivating story.
This book will inspire anyone of any age to appreciate their life more and to cherish each moment they’re given on Earth. But it should be required reading for pre-teens and teens who face peer pressures that may often be too tough to bear or to understand on their own. You couldn’t give your child a better gift.
Author Wendy Naarup is a motivational speaker, an Ironman age group champion, an author and a survivor. In addition to her new novel, she has written a wonderful memoir, WAKE UP! TRAVELING FROM GOOD ENOUGH TO GREAT.
She said she wrote Piece by Piece because she wanted to “help kids see through the struggle of adolescence and realize how truly brilliant their lives are meant to be.” Amen.