Two thumbs up for this wonderful book. Waaaaaay up. I’m trying to break my very bad habit of skipping books that have anything to do with boys. Boy, have I been missing out.
Worth by A. Lafaye, is Nathaniel’s story, set in rural Nebraska, 1870. After a tragic accident leaves him unable to help his pa around the farm, the family takes in an orphaned boy named John. The family’s struggle to move on and not completely sink beneath their load of cares is epic and heart wrenching – and caught in the middle of the chaos are these two boys, locked in a battle to become the “beloved” son.
Despite holding many, many charms for boys, there was certainly a lot there for me too, especially the emotional undercurrent revealed by each character and the healing the family experiences.
I’m not honestly sure if a “boy” will like it, now that I think about it. Written by a woman, she does perhaps, bring to the front of the story the emotional plane these pre-teen boys are experiencing too much. She probably should have added one or two more chapters about wrestling, riding bareback across the farm to catch a barbwire fence cutter, or maybe something about hunting. I don’t know…
As a mother of a son, it was a very good read. I cried twice. I cried because there is something so raw about a boy experiencing pain. When I read about young girls going through strife, it makes me sad, but I don’t ache and die and go all to pieces in the same way. Two boys, two tragedies, two painful, choked up sessions of tearful page turning.
For reading aloud, may I suggest, Mary Poppins and Mary Poppins Comes Back. But – you have to read it with accents, a very dry, sarcastic tone, and lots of sound effects – especially grumpy huffs, stuck-up snorts, and weary sighs. If you try to read it without these things, it will all be rather odd and boring.
For reading with a little one, how about Beware of the Frog, by William Bee.
Hilarious and very fun to read. You’ll need a few sound effects in hand for this one too, but boy, the ending is worth every bit of effort. We have checked it out now 7 times. 7!!
My next review will probably be about another “boy” book, as I’m on a bit of mission to scope out the best there is for my soon to be ravenous reader, T6. Any suggestions?