What It Is About: Jojo is thirteen years old. He is the main care taker for his younger sister Kayla. This is because his mother, Leonie, is more concerned about her drug use and their father is in prison. Luckily Jojo and Kayla are able to live with their grandparents. Leonie's parents are the one solid in these two young people's lives. When Jojo's father is released from prison, Leonie, Jojo, Kayla, and a friend take a road trip to pick him up. Jojo's grandfather isn't sure this is a good idea, but they head out anyway. While on the way to the prison, Jojo recalls many stories his grandfather told him about his early life and a young boy named Richie. Once his father is picked up, "life" in the car on the return trip only gets worse. Jojo wants to prove he can be the man his grandfather has taught him to be.
What I Thought Of It: This is one of those novels that has received so much praise, that I was afraid it wouldn't live up to the hype. I was a bit confused at the start-up of the story, but once I got in a few pages, the story began to flow and I found rhythm. The more I read, the more I found myself becoming completely absorbed in the journey of Jojo, his sister, and the other family members. The writing was exquisite and so many lines that I found myself rereading. At first I wasn't sure of the "magical" and/or "ghost" moments, but they worked so well in this overall plot. I can see why this title has earned many awards and so glad I ended 2017 with it.
Who Should Read It: This is definitely a read for adult readers who enjoy "real" literature with descriptive and emotional writing. I learned today that the book made a list the former President Obama posted. I'm in good company. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars