|Things you can't say|
Author: Bishop, Jenn
Three years after his father's death by suicide, twelve-year-old Drew embarks on a journey toward understanding, forgiveness, and hope.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.00
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 506783
Kirkus Reviews (12/15/19)
School Library Journal (03/01/20)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2020 This thoughtfully written story shows how difficult it can be for a sensitive boy to open up to others about what's troubling him. Drew's father died of suicide when Drew was nine. Three years later, Drew and his mom still haven't talked about it. He finds refuge volunteering at the public library, but when new girl Audrey appears, Drew thinks she's there to replace him. Gradually, they become friends; Drew even develops a crush on her but is afraid to tell her. When his best friend Filipe starts hanging out with an older kid from school, Drew feels left out but doesn't confront Filipe. Initially, Drew is suspicious and resentful when Phil, a high-school friend of his mom's, unexpectedly arrives for a few days. But, Phil's genuine interest in him leads Drew to wonder if Phil is his real father. In her third middle-grade novel (14 Hollow Road, 2017), Bishop realistically depicts Drew's anger and hurt over his father's death. A sensitive exploration of suicide, forgiveness, and the difficulty of navigating friendships. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2020 Gr 5–7—Three years after his father's suicide, 12-year-old Drew continues to find comfort spending his summer volunteering in the children's room of his local library, where Audrey has begun volunteering. But this summer is different. The things he counted on are beginning to feel a bit more uncertain. His best friend, Filipe, seems to be pulling away. And, most threatening of all, Phil, an old friend of his mother's, arrives on a motorcycle to stay for "a few days." When Phil begins helping around the house, including making meals for Drew and his younger brother Xander, Drew wants to know more about Phil—and about his own father. Drew's first-person narration allows readers to experience his conflicting feelings: missing his father while worrying that he may be like him, and "pretending that everything was perfect—fine—when obviously it wasn't." With Audrey's help, Drew begins learning more about Phil's own complicated story, which leads him to invent a narrative that makes him more confused and angry. When Drew starts to feel overwhelmed, his mother's and Audrey's support allows him to express feelings he has been bottling up as he works to accept new realities. VERDICT Bishop's emotional novel may provide a way for readers whose lives have been impacted by suicide to navigate a complex topic and will appeal to those who appreciate tales of trauma and healing.—Shelley Sommer, Inly School, Scituate, MA - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.