Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds...

How I Heard About It:   As I was browsing for audio books at the library I ran across this book and remembered Donalyn Miller mentioning it either on Twitter or GoodReads.  I checked it out and looked forward to "listening" to this story.  

What It Is About:  Matt Miller is in high school.  He has just lost his mother to cancer and is heading back to school.  His father has turned to alcohol to "deal" with the death so Matt is pretty much on his own.  He finds a job at the local funeral home where he sits in on funerals to watch the family members grieve.  Matt decides he will wear his black suit that he wore to his mother's funeral.  During one of the funerals he meets Love who has just lost her grandmother.  She has lived with her for quite some time because she lost her parents.  They begin to see and rely on each other to deal with their loss.  Matt's dad ends up in the hospital after drinking too much and falling.  Now he is really on his own.  Matt has the support of the funeral home owner, a best friend, and his new relationship with Love.  Are things finally looking "up" for him?  

What I Thought Of It:  This was an enjoyable listen.  The narrator did a wonderful job of telling this story.  One of the elements that I really liked about the story was the character of Matt.  He was so likable, strong, and stood up for what he believed in.  He was a true survivor.  The funeral home owner was also a huge positive force in the plot, and I wish there were more people in the world who were like him.  I'm so glad that I checked out this audio book and got to experience this really beautiful story.  

Who Should Read It:   The novel is geared toward the young adult reader.  I also think adult readers will enjoy it as much as the younger reader.  I believe the setting is in the 1970's so if you enjoy stories set in the past, you will be attracted to the book.  I think Matt would also make for a strong role model to high school readers.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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