A mid-grade book review from a writer’s eye/mind.

The Day My Mother Left  by James Prosek.

What a great writer and what a great book. Many times I pick up a book for the mid-grade reader and put it down just about as quickly. I  gravitate toward that age group in my own writing. I love the age for it’s cool yet not-cool way of living and thinking. They are a moment away from teen-hood but not quite ready to let go of their tiny corner of childhood. This age group smacks of being in the world but not totally of the world yet. Their sense of humour is honest and basic and it’s a joy, if not relief, to be around them; sometimes even when they are being snots.

Anyway, back to the book. It starts out with Jeremy, a boy of nine, whose mother leaves the family for another man and life. The book travels through three years of Jeremy’s life as he tries to understand what’s happened, who is to blame, and how he decides to deal with the issues that follow.

I think what I liked most about the story is how Jeremy ends up not doing what I expected him to do. His life doesn’t follow the ‘tried-and-true it’s-gotta’-happen-this- way’ plan. There is a loving grittiness to this story. It’s a smoothly written story of an awkward time in a young person’s life.  It’s a story of making mistakes, of loving anyway, and of living lives as best they can.

Even when things didn’t work out the way I expected, I closed the book feeling a great sense of hope and a feeling of genuinely liking the characters, warts and all.

And that’s what makes this book a good read. And a good study for other writers of the mid-grade age.

Thank you James Prosek

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2 Comments »

  1. Cassie Said:

    I will read any book with birds on the cover – I’m adding this to my list. I love books that you can be happy with even if they don’t turn out like you expect. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Like


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