Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Book Review | SPEECHLESS by Adam P. Schmitt

November 6, 2018;
Candlewick Press

How do you give a eulogy when you can't think of one good thing to say? A poignant, funny, and candid look at grief, family secrets, difficult people, and learning to look behind the facade.

I highly recommend this book.

Jimmy is at his first wake. If that isn’t shocking enough for a 13-year old boy, he was just informed that tomorrow he has to deliver his first eulogy. His first. In front of everyone in a church full of grieving people. He tried every pleading to get away from it but shot down every time.

Jimmy’s been racking his brains for what to say about his cousin, Patrick if there’s anything good at all. Searching, he recalled every special moment his cousin had somehow wrecked. All his 13 years, he had to put up with Patrick. So, giving this eulogy is not merely nerve-racking for Jimmy, it is an imposition. An imposition preceded by so many before it. 
It made him angry and defiant. 
It made him question his family. 
It made him realize who Patrick was. 
And how they aren’t so different after all.

One of the many reasons I love Middle-Grade books is that they give me a whole new set of lenses to look through. Viewing things from a child’s perspective is always unique and reawakening. Giving a eulogy for an unlikable person who died is a very unusual subject for children, but induces a profound awareness for any reader –including parents, relatives, friends, even for educators.

SPEECHLESS is a very well-written, memorable story.

Book details:
Title:  Speechless
Publication: November 6, 2018; Candlewick Press
Genre: Fiction, Middle-Grade
Rating: ★★★★★

*Thank you Candlewick for this galley in exchange for an honest review.


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