I have been reading a lot of books lately. Even though I work in a school library, I don't always get the chance to read or even OWN all the books I want to read. As a librarian and avid reader, I read a lot of reviews and find different sources to help me read more widely. Some books get read within days of their discovery, some books lurk in the background for weeks, sometimes years just waiting to be brought forward and read.
I don't know if I can blame the lunar eclipse last night, the autumnal equinox, or I am just finding emotional books, but here are three titles that have made me sniffle, burst into tears on my commute or mourn the future passing of my own youth.
One thing that always makes me cry are stories where a child has to overcome a learning difficulty to find their gifts and ultimately flourish. This phenomenon happens Every. SIngle. Time. with Thank you Mr. Falker, In A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz, young Alan grows up with a stutter. He is misunderstood, mocked and is placed in special classes that never seemed to address his problem.. He finds though that he does not need to speak in order to communicate with the jaguar at the zoo. He makes a vow to the jaguar that if he ever were to find his voice he would speak up for jaguars. He does go on to address his stuttering and studies jaguars in the wild. To be able to be quiet and still communicate is such a powerful idea. It made me cry.
Gossamer by Lois Lowry has hovered in the back of my mind since a young man from my own child's school had the starring role in a stage play based on this book. I have been "pushing" this book on children only partially knowing what was inside. I will push this book more since I have read it. There are creatures that are assigned to certain humans. The creatures job is to touch objects within the house to harvest happy memories which the creatures will then bestow upon the humans as they sleep. The idea that objects hold human interactions within them and that human memories and sensations can be held and ultimately transmitted was the most beautiful idea I had come across in a long time. As the creatures are harvesting and bestowing calming and healing thoughts onto a troubled boy, I BURST into tears. Objects, creatures, healing, dreams all of my favorite themes rolled into one little powerhouse: Gossamer.
Grandpa Green was a casual read one evening with my older daughter. I do still occasionally "force" my children to read picture books with me. They are willing victims. It turns out that my sixth grade daughter then bore witness to her mother getting teary eyed and hearing my voice break as we made out way through this gem about an aging grandfather, his garden, and his amazing life of memories carved into garden scenes.
I highly recommend these three titles. I also highly reommend varying your emotional books and not being an emotional wreck as you try to talk about these books for the days after reading them. Get in touch with your library and get in tough with your emotional self.
What books have made you cry?