“The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.” -James Bryce
I read so many children’s books that sometimes worth is measured in how long I can remember the story. If my mind keeps coming back to the book, or if it is one I know I’ll want to read again sometime, or if a book makes me want to read more books by the author, then it makes my “good book” rating.
A recent read I recommend to anyone interested in children’s literature is Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters by Gail Giles, published in 2003, from Roaring Brook Press. This book was a very compelling read. There were several twists that left me picking my jaw up off the floor. I recommended it to several people and then after they read it, we discussed and “argued” over the book. “I think …” “Maybe, but don’t forget about…” “What about…”
The story is done, but I keep thinking about Sunny, the main character. I wonder what is going on in her life now. Her family is so disfunctional that I ache for her. Yeah, yeah, I know, she’s a made up person, but she felt so real. I hope some day someone will feel the same about one of my characters.
Here’s a taste of the story: Sunny’s sister Jazz dies in a fire and Sunny is trying to hold her depressed mother together. (Her alcoholic father has already moved out.) Then Sunny gets a letter from Jazz.
To find out more, you’ll have to read it yourself. Although, if you insist on knowing more first, you can go to the author’s website: www.gailgiles.com.