Jul 9, 2012

#TheList, No. 849: Grover

Grover seems like a simple book.  A boy living off somewhere in the country, he helps his veterinarian uncle from time to time, he goes fishing with his friends, he makes up stories to entertain them during their adventures, and he enjoys the simple things in life.  So why is it so special that ti's included on The List (not that special is a qualification...again, Twilight is on there)? It's a book that examines different reactions to death.

Yeah, spoiler alert, the Mom dies.  But it's not really a spoiler because it's in the back cover description. 

Anywho, what happens when you don't feel a terrible sorrow that someone has passed?  What happens when grief seems to hold onto your life and dictate your every move?  Both of these reactions to a loved one's death are presented in the novel, and it's a bit reassuring to a reader that either reaction is acceptable or normal. 

Would I recommend giving this to someone who just experienced a loss? Ehhhh no? Maybe?  It's a little dated, and some of the sparsely used (thankfully) illustrations are downright frightening, and for a novel that discusses death, it sometimes feels like it's pushed into the background.  Yes, I get it, it's because life goes on.  But a kid might not want to read something that addresses a recent loss so nonchalantly through the title character.  I think that this book is more for the reflective type of person.  Maybe someone who experienced a loss, but not recently.  But, like everything, it depends on the person.
Unfortunately, this Grover isn't the main character
Apparently this children's/YA novel is part of three part book series that deals with the same characters.  It obviously doesn't have to be read in order...or else I'm just a rebel.  But no, important character details that came into play in previous books are reiterated in conversations and exposition, so really, it's not necessary to be familiar with the story beforehand. 

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