Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Love, Aubrey, by Suzanne LaFleur

This is my just-turned-ten-year-old daughter's favorite book. About a month ago, she was reading it in her bed, tears streaming down her cheeks, saying, "This is the best book EVER! But it's so sad." Two weeks later, there I was in bed, reading this book and crying. I won't say it's the best book ever, but it's pretty good.

Eleven-year-old Aubrey has lost her father and sister in a car crash, and now her mother has disappeared, leaving her to fend for herself. Fortunately, her grandmother takes her in, and the book takes place over the course of the next year. As you can imagine, Aubrey's got a little processing to do. Heavy stuff for a kids' book, but I think it's just the right mix of serious and fun; it turns out that life doesn't end when your family is gone, though it seems like it should.

The author, Suzanne LaFleur, is exactly the kind of adult I wanted to be when I was a child. She's in her mid-twenties, and so hasn't been a bona fide grownup for all that long - I hope she can sustain her absolute coolness. You can read about her on her website. If you loved Harriet the Spy and heroines of her ilk, you will love Suzanne LaFleur.


I don't read that much kids' lit these days, but when my children particularly love something I will give it a try. I remember reading my favorites over and over again, in a way I just wouldn't as an adult. This is a great pick for the tweeners, and not a bad grownup read if you're ready to shed a few tears.

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