A few extra teen reads on grief and loss

Hi everyone, this extra post this week will give you another couple of teen reads on the loss of a loved one. I found these titles by accident to be honest, and I realised only after I’d read them the powerful message they both conveyed. I hope you can find these exceptionally written stories.

book cover image of African American boy holding backpack straps in middle walking on top of colourful lego bricks. cars parked beside road with buildings on either side. night sky in middle with stars. white letters at top read The Stars Beneath Our Feet. smaller letters at bottom edge read David Barclay Moore.
An engaging teen read

Title: The stars beneath my feet

Author: David Barclay Moore

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Alfred A. Knopf; NY, 2017

What this book is about: Lolly’s having a hard time knowing how to be without his older brother around. It seems like he’s either sad or mad. The thing that helps most is building. His mom’s girlfriend gave him two huge bags of legos, and Lolly’s working on an epic city – a project so big it outgrows his apartment. But there are dangers outside. Older guys who harass Lolly and then jump him and his friend Vega. What would Jermaine want him to do? Lolly’s going to have to figure that one out on his own. 

My review: An emotionally nerve-racking read!! You really felt for Lolly as he dealt with this grief over losing his brother to gang violence. I enjoyed the varying cultures described in the inhabitants of the area Lolly calls home. The writing of this book; it’s storyline, the characters and the description of the neighbourhood is stunningly realistic. I found that the writer brought some intense and mature themes to light in this read. The intensity of the gang violence described was a bit hard for me to devour but I think the inclusion of Lolly’s two mothers and his growing friendships managed to counteract it all to give a good story overall. Better suited for older teenagers please!!

My rating: 3½⭐

book cover image is in white background with side profile of young girl with large bun in middle. image inside profile shape of street corner with buildings, power wires, sky with clouds and birds on wires. musical notes too. large orange letters at top read Sparrow with smaller letters on bottom right reading Sarah Moon.
An intriguing novel

Title: Sparrow

Author: Sarah Moon

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Arthur A. Levine Books; NY, 2017

What this book is about: They find Sparrow on the edge of the roof of her school. No one believes that she wasn’t about to jump. But then again, no one knows Sparrow very well. She keeps good grades. She keeps to herself. Though she wishes she could find a friend, she has no idea how that might happen. Soon Sparrow begins to discover something else inside her – a music, a song that grows in power, if only she can let it be a bridge. Sparrow’s voice is beautiful, funny, raw, and heartbreakingly direct. Her journey is a quest for connection, for survival, that will leave no reader unmoved. 

My review: A stunningly moving book. One of growth and identity. It touches on some very sensitive issues of grief and trauma and the effects it has on teens. I liked Sparrow’s growth through the book and loved the girl she became at the end!! A really well written story and plot with some awesome characters. Again, I think this is better for older teenagers!! 

My rating: 4 ⭐

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