Thursday, July 25, 2013

Leaving Nelson

Leaving Nelson
by Kim Moss
I recently had the wonderful fortune of reading a phenomenal new novel written by Kim Moss. Some of you are probably going to recognize her name right away as a fantastic friend and outstanding teacher. Others will say, “Who is THAT?!?” In my humble opinion, which everyone knows is of utmost importance, once Leaving Nelson is published, the name Kim Moss will be much more recognizable in the world of young adult fiction.

This is the story of Bailey Baxter and her family who move from Nelson, Louisiana to Fulton, Tennessee following the death of her mother. Like the majority of the reviews I write, this one has a personal connection. While reading this coming of age story about fifteen year old Bailey, I could see my cousin Cassie Lea in the role.

During the summer of 2007, my first cousin, Cynthia Lynn, passed away as a result of breast cancer. She was only 37 years old. Only six months separated us and as a result Cynthia and I were very close. She and her older sister, Charlotte, were like the sisters this only child never had. At the time of Cynthia’s death, her daughters Cassie Lea and Rylie Mae were fifteen and nine.

Like Cassie Lea, Bailey has a younger sister, Gracie. Rylie Mae was a little older than the character of Gracie, who in the book is only five years old and beginning her second semester of kindergarten when the family moves to Tennessee.

Through flashbacks and her writing, which is a comfort, Bailey provides information about a loving caregiver, her mother. Conflict and drama build in the book through events taking place in school. A surprising twist at the end of the book helps cement a bond building throughout the story between a teacher, Miss Rose and her student, Bailey.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would say I highly recommend it for all middle and high school libraries as well as public libraries serving young adults. The problem is…this book has yet to be published! I have to say, this is very sad for all of the readers who need to be touched by this story. I know the character development in the book will have readers connecting with Bailey, her family and her friends. You will be drawn into their lives and want to know more. In the end, you will want more. Now, the best part of wanting more, is the author has already written a sequel! For me, it is very exciting because I get to learn more about the people I have grown to care about, but until this book is actually picked up by a publisher there will only be a handful of us who know the true depth and impact Bailey’s father’s decision has on her life when they are off to Fulton and Leaving Nelson.

If you, or someone you know is interested in contacting Ms. Moss about her book, please feel free to contact her at

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