I have a book to recommend, but first I have a few disclaimers: 1) This novel is about a boy who is the only survivor of a plane crash that kills 191 other people. 2) This book made me cry. 3) The plane crash is described and it’s scary–especially to people like me who really don’t love to fly. 4) I was only able to read this book knowing I wouldn’t be getting on a plane any time soon.
Whew, now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, I’m relieved.
And, if you are still reading this blog post, then maybe you will take a chance on Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano. Edward Adler is 12-years-old when his brother and parents and 183 other people are killed in a plane crash that he survives–but that is just the beginning of his remarkable story. He’s not magic or anything. He is just a lucky kid, you might think, until he wakes up alone in a hospital, emotionally and physically broken. He moves in with his Aunt Lacey, who has just lost her sister, and her husband John, who is determined to protect Edward from the endless barrage of strangers obsessed with the crash, who might want to exploit him. With the help of a slew of people, including his therapist, Dr. Mike, and his new neighbor and friend Shay, Edward must learn to go on living.
So, yes this book will break your heart. Not only is Edward’s story sad, but readers hear some of his fellow passenger’s personal stories as well. If that wasn’t enough, alternating narratives within this novel share glimpses of the grief of their loved ones.
But this book will lift you up too. It will make you see how people can truly care about one another, and give you hope for humanity. At least it did for me.
So, read this novel about loss, love, and friendship to get in touch with your empathetic side. After all, who knows what might be troubling people who cross our paths every day. Just be sure to keep a tissue handy.