Fourth Grade Journey

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

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

How I Heard About It:  I saw a "tweet" from Donalyn Miller that she spent the day reading this book and loved it.  I added it to my TBR list and just recently "borrowed" it via my public library using my 3M Cloud Library app.  I stayed up very late last night reading and woke up very early this morning to finish this incredible story.  

What It Is About:  Dill, Travis, and Lydia are three seniors living in a small town in Tennessee.  As their senior year begins, they each have goals, hopes, and wishes for the year to come.  They are on the same page with some aspects and on completely different "trains' of thought when it comes to others.  Dill is dealing with the fact that his minister father is serving time in prison for a crime that his mother suggests is Dill's fault for sending him there.  Travis has lost an older brother which has sent his father to the bottle and a mother who isn't sure what to do.  Finally, we have the glue that holds these three friends together.  Lydia is ready to get out of town and pursue her dreams at NYU.  She has bigger dreams for herself than living in a small town where not much goes on.  Lydia wants the same for her two "buddies", but they just might be satisfied living in "simple" life.  After a roadside incident occurs, life will never be the same for these three young people and they must learn to not only rely on themselves for survival, but on each other more than they ever thought possible.  

What I Thought Of It:  Donalyn was right.  This novel is all consuming.  I had other books in progress, but once I started this one, I couldn't stop reading until I was done.  This took me late into the hours last night and I was up again at 6:00 AM this morning (a Sunday at that) to finish the story. I'm not sure I have ever loved or felt connected to three characters as much as I did with this novel.  They were three of the most awesome, heart-warming, and real people I have experienced in fiction.  The story line was top-notch and if I'm honest, had me in tears on several occasions.  I couldn't quite figure out why it was affecting me the way it was, but I went with it and enjoyed every word, every paragraph, every page, and every chapter.  I loved everything about this story and find myself wanted to keep reading it today even though I finished it many hours ago.  

Who Should Read It:  As you can tell I LOVED this story so my answer to this question would be EVERYONE should read this novel.  You will NOT be disappointed.  It is "billed" as young-adult, but don't let that stop you adult readers from experiencing the magic of the story.   Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5+ STARS out of 5 Stars

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