It’s We Recommend! In which we post a request that's been sent to us, and do our best to get that person the right book. Know a kid who needs a book to read? Send us (thediamondinthewindow (at) gmail (dot) com) his or her likes, dislikes, favorites, quirks, and any other reading information that might be helpful, and we will think on it, and pose it to our oh-so-helpful readers. And look in the comments—all the best recommendations are there.
Well, friends and foes—Ok, probably not foes, to be honest—we have a challenge. I mean, grownups (most of us) recommending books to non–grownups is already a challenge. But this one has more terrifying heights and dizzying abysses (?) than most: I fear there may be an inverse relationship between someone's need for a book and the ease with which we find the right one. But what are challenges for if not to be pushed against, and maybe even overcome? Forward! To the request!
My son is an 8th grade boy who likes fast paced but deep stories (not boring) and is struggling with feeling like he doesn't matter to any of his friends. He has loved over the years: Rick Riordan, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Maze Runner, all David Levithan. Loved The Martian and is currently reading Lovely Bones. Likes pathos and feelings but also action and adventure and a good story. Is currently loving the entire Marvel franchise.
This one hit me right in the feelings. It is oh-so-crappy to feel like you don't matter to your friends, on top of the various difficulties of being in 8th grade, and in the world at all (am I leaning maudlin? I fear so.). But having a book makes everything better, and having the right book is even better than that.
The thing that occurred to me first, and hard, was Terry Pratchett. Funny! Smart! Fast! Silly! Heartfelt! But the question lingers: which one? I went to the expert, ie: Chestnut, for guidance. She says this
And the excellent thing about this, is if it's a hit, there are more more more!
In any case, there are probably other, perfect books out there waiting that we don't know anything about—books that would be perfect for this particular person. If you know of one, put it in the comments!