Wednesday, April 29, 2015

If You're Reading This

If You’re Reading This
By Trent Reedy
Scholastic, 2014. 296 pgs. Fiction.

Mike’s father was killed in Afghanistan when he was eight years old; as Mike’s sixteenth birthday approaches, someone sends him letters that his father wrote to him in the eventuality of his death. In the letters his father explains to him what it means to be a man. The letters come at the crucial point in Mikes life when he is making decisions about school, friends, sports, and, of course, girls, which is why his father wanted to wait for him to receive the letters until now. The encouragement and wisdom in his father’s letters help Mike along the path of discovering what kind of man he wants to be.

The realistic voice of Mike makes this an easy read, though I frequently got frustrated with his mother when Mike seemed more like the grownup in the family. But overlooking that, the “missions” his father challenges Mike to accomplish in each letter—do something courageous, forgive someone, remember to have fun—are great little nuggets of thought. I recommend this to 12+ audience due to subject matter.

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