Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2015
I admit that I initially got this book because of two factors: one is that the author is a Virginia resident and the second is that the Kindle price was incredibly cheap, something that was likely done because the book won a Newbery Award. It's not a particularly long novel, but it's short length works in its favor because this is an exceedingly powerful book.

The entire work is told in verse and it's beautifully done, as Alexander takes full advantage of the format to craft visually lovely free verse that truly leaps off the page. It's a book that's very much meant to be viewed, although part of me is curious to listen to the audiobook so I can experience how the narrator interpreted various portions of the book. What ultimately works best here is that the characters are all believable and best of all, there are no "bad guys" here. Even though we're really only given the perspective of one of the two brothers, it will be very easy for readers of all ages to interpret how either brother is feeling at almost any given point of the book- an element that I'm sure is going to be the focus of many, many school lectures.

I can easily see this book becoming a staple of multiple classrooms and for good reason. It's amazingly well crafted and even better- it's fiction that will appeal to any age and any gender. This book deals with a lot of difficult topics, from growing up to family issues to various different things that just about every child will deal with when they're young and I whole heartedly recommend that parents read this book as well and discuss it with their children and heck, maybe even make up a few verses for themselves.
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