Walk Softly, Rachel (MMGM)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

HELLOOO, everybody welcome to MMGM! Before starting the review, I wanted to wish everyone a happy Labor Day! :-) And as usual, school's starting tomorrow! New school, new start. I'm so excited! Now, that we have gotten that out of the way, I would like to introduce this week's MMGM feature: Walk Softly Rachel.

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (September 9, 2003)

This book is on the shorter side, but it's crazy how much it can change the way you see life. Take a look at the summary from Amazon: 

"Fourteen-year-old Rachel remembers little about her brother, Jake, except that he died in a car accident when she was seven and he was seventeen. Her parents rarely talk about him, but his presence in the family can be felt and his room has been left untouched. It's by means of Jake's journal that Rachel begins to know her brother and learns that his death was a suicide. With candor and humor, Rachel filters Jake's anguished journal entries through her own experiences – her relationship with her parents and grandmother; the departure of her best friend, Adrian; and her growing involvement with the likable son of family friends who may be as troubled as Jake. In unraveling her family's secret and examining her own shortcomings, Rachel gains sympathy for her parents, realizing that they are all survivors. 

Kate Banks explores inner lives with exquisite sensitivity and precision. Sometimes funny, often sad, but painfully true, Walk Softly, Rachel is a story of love, loss, and letting go."

I definitely recommend this book to older kids (12-17, as stated on Amazon), due to the fact that the story is really depressing and includes a suicide. I still recommend it because despite the sad part, you learn a lot about how people cope with losing someone they love. I think this story is really cool because you get to read both Rachel's story and Jake's journal entries and see how similar their experiences are. 

My rating for this book is...

3.5 stars! I gave this book 3.5 stars because I wanted to learn more about Jake and read more of his journal. I can say that I am satisfied by the writing and how the book started and ended, but I just wish the author included more from Jake's journal. 

Since I'm writing this review super late, I have to cut it short and end it with the "ABOUT THE AUTHOR". 

Walk Softly Rachel was written by...

Kate Banks!

I was born and rais
ed along with my two sisters and one brother in New England (USA) where we spent a lot of time outdoors. Wildlife and the nature, the rhythm of seasons, were a big part of growing up and learning about life, and they have remained an integral part of my creative work.
My parents loved reading and shared that passion with us through bedtime stories, trips to the library, and visits to the bookstore. Our house was filled with books and I guess you could say that reading began as a habit and became a pleasure. Later books would become a refuge, somewhere to escape to after a disappointment, a place to meet new people or to have a laugh or a cry. I met a lot of people I liked in books and some that I didn’t like. I remember feeling very close to many of the characters and learning a lot from them. And as I matured, I found books helped me to sort out life. They were a safe place to become familiar with emotions—confusion, sadness, anger, grief, humiliation, happiness and love. I especially liked picture books, and the way in which words and illustrations could create a whole new world in which sometimes real and other times magical and unexpected things could happen.
I attended Wellesley College and received a Masters degree in History from Columbia University. After a stint in publishing I moved to Europe where I’ve spent the past 25 years, dividing my time between Italy and France with my husband Pierluigi and sons, Peter Anton and Max. I have written many award winning works for children—from picture books to YA novels.
I am often asked where I get ideas for my stories. I used to think that inspiration was a product of my experiences, big and small, which somehow found their way into my writing. While I still believe that to be true to some extent, my own journey has taught me that there is a larger force at work, and I am but the vehicle of an expression that belongs to something collective as well as individual.
After a life threatening medical accident in 2003 I became deeply involved with Energy Medicine Therapies and trained in Reiki, Pranic Healing, Emotional Freedom Technique, TAT, Bodytalk, and Reconnective Healing. I am also a certified hypnotherapist and member of thePast Life Regression Academy.
When I am asked what I do for a job, I am often tempted to say that I don’t work. That’s because I am lucky enough to do something I love for a living. Whether journeying through a story or navigating a therapy session my greatest joy is helping people find their way to the place where head meets heart, where all things are possible.
When I’m not writing or practicing therapy, I love playing the piano, doing pottery, puttering around outdoors, and cooking. I especially like making birthday cakes, but I hate cleaning up. And I love being with children. I love watching them and listening to them as much as I love writing for them.

(Bio from her website)

Thanks so much for visiting Cindy Reads A Lot this week for this rather short MMGM, and I hope you have a nice week! :-)


Here are the links: 

If you would like to learn more about Walk Softly, Rachel or Katie Banks, click HERE

If you would like to go back to Shannon Messenger's blog or check out more MMGM's click HERE. 

Please don't forget to comment below what you thought of my review! I love hearing your thoughts! 


  1. Thanks, Cindy. Stories that are told through journals always catch my attention.

  2. Missed this one when it came out. Thanks for the reminder to go back and give it another chance.

    1. No problem! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  3. This sounds like a really good and important book. Thanks for the review.

  4. I hadn't heard of this book, so thank you for bringing it to my attention. Kate Banks has also written some picture books I've read.

    Schools here in eastern Pennsylvania started last week, on Aug 30th. Best wishes for the new school year. Glad you're excited!