We still get books sent to us here at ye olde Diamond in the Window. Some poor overworked marketing person at a publisher still shoves new books into boxes and/or padded envelopes, and sends them around to bloggers and others in the hopes that people will remember that there are new books appearing in the world, and when you read one of them, it just might…reach you.
Readers: it has happened.
See, Chestnut reads through all of them. And then she gives me her verdict. And because I am her mother, sometimes I don't really listen when I listen, if you know what I mean? I nod and say "Yeah, right, OK," and there are many many levels of me that are not registering her words AT ALL.
So she may have had to repeat herself a few times. She did.
"Mom, seriously, Mom! This book is really good, you have to read it and then blog about it."
I did. And oh! It's so freaking lovely.
All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook is about a boy who grows up in a prison, because his mom is incarcerated. I have not read any other book in recent memory that talks about this. It is entirely, earnestly, and unutterably sweet. So many books for middle grade readers try to be cool and self-consciously silly, and this is neither of those. It's funny and caring and heartfelt, and there were moments there when I felt like it pierced me to my very core.
I want so many people to read it. I want everyone to read it.
Do I have quibbles? Of course I do! But I can't address my quibbles without talking about the secrets to be revealed, and anyway, they don't really alter my view. Which is: read this sweet book. Or get it for your kid, or your nephew, or your niece, or someone. And you will have given them at least one good thing in the world, which is worth it.
Hope you're all well. Maybe throw in your own recent happy discoveries in the comments?
7 thoughts on “And I Have Told You This to Make You Weep. And also Smile.”
What age do you think it would be appropriate for? My 3rd grader reads at middle grade level but it’s always hard to find thematically appropriate books for her. She’s quite sensitive and quite compassionate.
I think it would be fine for a third grader. It’s quite gentle, really. She might love it.
Great! Just put on hold at our amazing library system. She loved Crenshaw which dealt with homelessness so I suspect she will like it. Thanks for the rec!
The book that I just read that I am telling everyone about lately is Bone Gap by Laura Ruby. Have you read this? It is on the shortlist for the Andre Norton Award for 2015 so I am currently working my way through the (completely amazing) books on that list. I read most last year but missed a few including this one. It’s a YA book with roots in the Persephone myth, but it has so many amazing things going on. It’s probably suitable for 14+ to adult, but I really recommend you take a look.
I have had All Rise for the Honorable… on my radar, and now I will bump it up the to read list.
This morning I finished Withering by Sea by Judith Rossell who is Australian. It is a funny, exciting, magical middle grade novel set in Britain in the Victorian era.
High on a cliff above the gloomy coastal town of Withering-by-Sea stands the Hotel Majestic. Inside the walls of the damp, dull hotel, eleven-year-old orphan Stella Montgomery leads a miserable life with her three dreadful Aunts. But one night, Stella sees something she shouldn’t have… Something that will set in motion and adventure more terrifying and more wonderful than she could ever have hoped for…
Just to follow up, my 8 yo daughter LOVED this book. Raved about it and insisted I read it right away. Thank you again
Ooh that one kind of reminds me of Greenglass House, which my 8 yo also really enjoyed. Putting on hold now!