Saturday, January 23, 2016

and what was left behind was a smile

Beautiful and Devastating...

“He really could have been any other eighth-grade kid at Eastham Middle School. Except he had a daughter.”

I read Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D Schmidt this weekend. It is a book about friendship and sadness and 'having someone's back' and love and heartbreak... all written in a way that young people can understand and embrace. 

12 year old Jack lives a quiet life on his family's farm in Maine, when his parents take in a 14 year old foster kid named Joseph.

I really cared about these two boys. And, as is always the sign of a good book, they broke my heart wide open.

My favorite quotes:
Christmas is the season for miracles, you know. Sometimes they come big and loud, I guess - but I've never seen one of those. I think probably most miracles are a lot smaller, and sort of still, and so quiet, you could miss them. I didn't miss this one. When my father put his hand on Joseph's back, Joseph didn't even flinch.

"Would you have left a guy being beat up to go find a teacher?" I asked. My father wiped his hand across his face, and what was left behind was a smile. Really, a smile."Not in a million years," he said.

It stayed cold that Monday, and even though it was pretty bright out, there were snowflakes in the air that afternoon again, drifting like they didn't care if they landed. 

You can tell all you need to know about someone from the way cows are around him. 

And the conversation about angels between Reverend Ballou and Joseph...

Reverend Ballou: Maybe angels aren't always meant to stop bad things.
Joseph: So what good are they?
Reverend Ballou: To be with us when bad things happen.
Joseph: Then where the hell were they?

If you know a young adult reader who enjoys good narration, who seeks out bravery, who pays attention to trust, and who sees people for who they are as well as who they could be... then get this book for them. 

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