Saturday, June 10, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 From Ant to Eagle


This book is an excellent work of realistic fiction. It portrays the relationship between siblings very well, capturing the push and pull of having a brother to play with, yet also wanting time to hang out with friends of one's own. Calvin, the older brother, is eleven and bored over summer break. His younger brother Sammy is only six and can't do many of the things Calvin can. But Calvin has created a game with challenges that he makes up and Sammy has to complete to gain a level. Sammy started at Ant level, but wants to attain Eagle just like Calvin. Even with such entertainment available, it's understandable that when Calvin makes friends with a new girl from church, he wants to have fun without Sammy around all the time. When the family realizes Sammy is very ill, then Calvin begins to feel guilty over ignoring him all summer when he wasn't busy sending him on missions like spraying a bees nest to earn another level. And Cal's friend Aleta has her own guilty feelings to deal with over something from her family's past.

The characters really come to life in this story - the older brother annoyed by a younger tag-along; the new girl who captures the boy's attention; the younger brother with a case of hero worship for his sibling; the parents stressed by their child's illness. Readers can easily picture people they know in similar situations. Who hasn't hear siblings whine, "Do I have to play with him?" And many readers have probably has the experience of meeting a new kid at school, or in the neighborhood and being intrigued by the novelty of making a new friend. The saddest part is that some readers may also have firsthand knowledge of being in the hospital with a family member who is undergoing extensive tests. The portrayal of how each person within Calvin's family deals with the stress of the medical situation is heartrendingly real and may cause some tears among readers.

Recommended for middle grade readers who enjoy realistic fiction centered around family and friendship, and who don't mind some sadness and scenes that will bring out intense emotions. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

No comments:

Post a Comment