Shiny. (H. agrees.)
There are books that I find - rather, that find me - because of a word in the title or the name of a character. Here is a booklist dedicated to stories with Grace.
Amazing Grace by Megan Shull - **** - PG
Amazing Grace is an absolutely sweet story about a tennis pro who takes a much-needed break from it all. It has so much heart and it made me smile. Readers can't help but root for Grace to find her way. I feel that Amazing Grace is the one of the best attempts at the "de-celebrity" or "makeunder" storyline, something which many teen books have tackled in recent years. Amazing Grace is plausible and realistic without ever relying on modern-day tidbits and namedropping to make it more hip and marketable. This is the story of a girl who wanted and needed to get out of the spotlight and lead a normal life. Highly recommended. (See my post about all of Megan Shull's novels.)
Finding Grace by Alyssa Brugman - *** - PG
In this thoughtful novel, a high school graduate becomes the caretaker for a woman who became brain damaged as an adult for reasons unknown . . . at first. As Rachel learns more about her charge Grace, she also learns more about herself. Finding Grace is an aptly titled coming-of-age story that I recommend to teens and adults alike. It was surprisingly poignant. Rachel is appropriately awkward at first, not certain how to act around Grace. She is also on that brink between being a kid and being an adult, having graduated from high school but not completely knowing what she wants to do next. Highly recommended. (Read my post about this book, written for the One Shot World Tour.)
Tending to Grace by Kimberly Fusco - *** - PG
When Cornelia is in ninth grade, her mother leaves her with her Great-Aunt Agatha and takes off with her boyfriend. Cornelia and Agatha are vastly different, with the teenager being a shy bookworm with a stutter and the older woman being a very folksy, country lady. Though it is blood that binds them, it is ultimately literacy that bonds them. This book is short and sweet, poignant and poetic. It is easy enough for reluctant readers and important enough to discuss with kids and adults alike. Recommended.
Grace Happens by Jan M. Czech - ** - PG
The daughter of a famous actress gets to spend a summer on Martha's Vineyard. Away from the sets and the spotlight, she hopes to have a normal vacation and learn more about her family. This book is cute and clean, but I'd recommend it to middle schoolers rather than high schoolers. Grace's choice of words, her actions, and her reactions made her seem much younger than the age she was supposed to be, fifteen. Still, the book is cute and clean. Worth a read.
Related Booklist: Precious Rubies