by Cynthia Rylant
published by Scholastic
I guess I am just the right age to have missed this book when it was initially published. I was so happy to experience it for the first time this past week!
I can't tell you just how much I enjoyed this wonderful middle grade novel! The author's voice captured me from the beginning--and then I absolutely fell in love with the story Summer had to tell. This Newbery Award Winner is a tear-jerker, so be have some tissues handy!!
"But what is it that makes a person want to stay here on this earth anyway, and go on suffering the most awful pain just for the sake of getting to stay? I used to think it was because people fear death. But now I think it is because people can't bear saying good-bye."
There are so many little nuggets of wisdom and truth in this little book. It really touched my heart. It reminded me so much of a time of loss in my own life, and I will just tell you that I wept. It just captured so many emotions regarding death that are difficult to put into words. There are also some quotes having nothing to do with death--and everything to do with life!
She "couldn't get over a girl my age loving coffee so much. But Cletus told her that coffee had made me tough, and besides that all writers needed something to see them through those long novels, and better it was coffee than Jim Beam whiskey."
This is who I want to be when I grow up:
"May was the best person I ever knew. Even better than Ob. She was a big barrel of nothing but love, and while Ob and me were off in our dreamy heads, May was here in this trailer seeing to it there was a good home for us when we were ready to land. She understood people and she let them be whatever way they needed to be. She had faith in every single person she ever met, and this never failed her, for nobody ever disappointed May. Seems people knew she saw the very best of them, and they'd turn that side to her to give her a better look."
I don't think I can recommend this book enough. I enjoyed it so much, I'm just dying to dig into her other books! This is not a new book, but one I suspect will feel new each time you read it. It is simply fantastic.