Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tender, True, Touching

LIVING WITH JACKIE CHAN by Jo Knowles. Candlewick Press, September 2013.

The waiting list for my copy of the ARC is growing by the minute. Here is a companion book to JUMPING OFF SWINGS, but it is a book that will stand on its own two feet very well. This is the story of Josh who leaves his old school before senior year to go live with his Uncle Larry (may we all be fortunate to have an Uncle Larry in our lives). Josh needs a break from his family and friends and from the haunting memory at the hospital. Maybe time and distance will help him recover some sort of balance. Larry insists Josh join him in the evening karate class. There Josh gets to know his neighbor and fellow senior, Stella. But things are tense between them from time to time due to the secrets both of them are hiding. Knowles manages to let readers see the edges of the secrets, enough that they (if they are anything like me) will fret over the future of these two teens and the other folks involved in their lives. The book examines issues with care (tender) but honesty (true) and at an emotional depth (touching) that will keep readers turning the pages to see if all will be well.

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