Saturday, October 2, 2010

by Valerie Hobbs

Valerie Hobbs
Grades 4 and up

Toby has a secret. A big secret. On summer vacation, Toby and his mother have gone to spend it in a cabin out in the country. Toby's father tries to drive up on the weekends. Toby is supposed to be recovering from cancer and resting up to start sixth grade in the fall. By chance one morning, Toby meets Blossom and feels connected to her instantly despite her being a cow. Intent on telling Blossom’s owner they should be taking better care of her, he meets Pearl—a feisty, independent older woman living by herself in her crumbling home. An unlikely friendship forms between Toby and Pearl. Pearl teaches Toby about poetry and bestows life’s wisdom upon him while he helps her out around the house and barn milking Blossom. Helping to heal each other, the two learn life is not worth giving up on despite whatever is dealt your way.

I was initial unsure about this book as I was anticipating a sad story. To be honest, the cover also is not that appealing to me. This is definitely a case of not to judge the book by its cover (at least for me). It actually turned out to be a good read to me. I felt Toby was on point and believable as an 11-year-old dealing with cancer. I enjoyed the poetry sprinkled throughout. Since it was not what I was initially expecting, I was pleasantly surprised at the end. It was a pretty fast read for me so it might be a good one to refer to those dragging their heels for an assignment. Talking points include the characterization of Toby and Pearl, poetry references and meanings, dealing with a major illness and the impact on Toby as well as his parents.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to write a comment! I read them all and respond to them as soon as I can.