Does anyone know the kind of book I'm aiming for?
December 17, 2006 12:03 PM Subscribe
Are there any books you think a smart, grieving preteen would find comforting or of use? More details inside.
posted by Ash3000 to human relations (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'll try to get what the situation is with as few details as possible, unless further information is really needed.
I have a relative, who is 13 years old to my 22. We'll call him Bobby. Bobby is a smart, shy and sweet kid, who loves all sorts of standard 12-year-old-things (e.g. the red sox and the star wars prequel trilogy) and is very quietly perceptive of people around him. He's a great kid, and the oldest of three.
I was planning, for this holiday season (the end of chanukah, specifically, when I get back home from college) to give everyone a book as a gift this year - nothing too bank-breaking as I'm a starving student, but something I thought each person would genuinely enjoy and perhaps find thought-provoking, suited to their interests. Thinking of the books I might have wished someone handed me in the 10-13-year-old area, I was originally going to go with either
Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman!, Culture Jam, or Good Omens.
In the past three weeks, his grandmother, whom he is close to (and who is way too young for this) has gotten very sick, very quickly, and is likely to pass this week. All of a sudden, my suggested books seem a little lacking somehow - each is either flippant or political, a little empty under the circumstances.
I don't want to give him a book which is blatantly like, "So you're a grieving preteen, eh?" or anything transparently about a grandparent's death, etc etc. Nothing pat and tacky and thoughtless. But maybe something which, though it's not on the surface "about death," can provide some measure of comfort to a person in this situation. I guess it's more a feeling than a theme I'm thinking about. I have come up with three that seem somewhat what I'm aiming for:
Dear Mr. Henshaw, by Beverly Cleary,
Danny The Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl, and
The Little Prince, by Antoine St.-Exupery
I guess the best way to put it is a book which has both wonderfulness and melancholy, though the former ultimately triumphs; a book that as a smart pre-teen makes you both grin and cry but ultimately finish feeling like the world is an okay place. Does anyone have any thoughts on this matter, or even know what I'm trying to get at? This might just be a stupid idea, I'm in the middle of grieving myself.