Mia’s Reflections by Ginger Marks is an attractive book with colourful illustrations. The theme is that of a young girl learning that looks are not everything; it is important and very appealing to be “nice on the inside” – to think of others, human and animal, and ways to help them. Ginger Marks tackles death in that Mia has been recently orphaned by a tragic car crash with the loss of all that is familiar. Mia is sent to live with her grandmother in a different area, which means she must attend a new school and she experiences fear; the fear of not being liked by the new people she meets. Her only constant friend is Leo, her cat. Mia’s Reflections demonstrates the way around all these problems.
Mia makes her first appearance sitting on the porch of her grandmother’s house with her cat, and she is very unhappy; she has lost her parents, and she must soon start going to a new school. She feels she is ugly, and thinks other students won’t like her for that reason. What I loved about Mia’s Reflections is the way the story is told through reflections in a mirror. Mia interacts with her grandmother who needs help with chores, her cat who’s being bullied, a toddler who almost runs into danger chasing his ball, a neighbour confined to a wheelchair, and even the memory of her mother. Ginger Marks has also included puzzles, lists of words to be assigned their parts of speech, and questions to prompt discussion. Mia’s Reflections is a marvellous book, especially for use in schools.