Fourth Grade Journey

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

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Far From The Tree by Robin Benway

How I Heard About It:  I remember being at NCTE this past fall and the National Book Awards had just been announced.  This title won for young-adult.  During my "walks" through the exhibit hall, I saw the book several times.  I put the title on my Christmas list and was happy to say I received it as a gift.  It was the first young-adult novel I read in 2018.  

What It Is About:  Grace, Maya, and Joaquin are three high school kids living their lives the best they can.  Grace was adopted as a baby and has two extremely supportive parents.  They stand by her when she becomes pregnant in high school and decides to give up her child.  Maya was also adopted at a young age and has grown up with her adoptive parents and their biological daughter.  The two girls are very close in age, but Maya has always felt like the "outsider".  The two girls do share their concern for their parents who fight a lot and for a mother who drinks too much.  Joaquin was given up by his mother and was never able to find a "forever" home.  He bounced from foster home to foster home.  There were a few times when he was almost adopted, but it never worked out.  Joaquin is now with two people that truly want him to be their son, but he isn't sure he can truly let them in.  When these three young adults find out they have something great in common, each of their lives will be forever changed.  

What I Thought Of It:  Wow!  I was in complete tears as I finished this story.  I can see why the story won the National Book Award.  Everything about this novel was incredible.  The three characters were strong, real, and made an impact on my own life.  There interactions with each other were some of the best literary scenes I've ever read.  The writing was beautiful, flowed from page to page, and never left me bored and/or wandering.  This will definitely be a title that I will be recommending to all of my reading friends.  

Who Should Read It:   In my opinion this could be read by both the young-adult and the adult reader.  It doesn't read like a "typical" young-adult novel, if there is such a thing.  It also doesn't read like an adult novel.  The content is the perfect combination of both types of novels.  Be sure to put this title on your TBR list because I know you won't be disappointed.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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