Here’s a dirty little secret about me: I didn’t like Maniac Magee and I never read Wringer. I know, I know, everyone loves Maniac Magee and it won the 1991 Newbery Medal. Then along came Wringer six years later and Mr. Spinelli added a Newbery Honor to his awards. I couldn’t bring myself to read it, though, knowing that the horrible rite of passage is the wringing of pigeon’s necks. All that said, I like Jerry Spinelli. He won my heart when I was how old? can I say young person? OK, I was young and out came Space Station Seventh Grade. My brother and I loved it. What do I remember about it? The boy in it pops a zit. A zit! Can you imagine? Talking about such a thing? That is what ran through my little 10 or 11 year old brain. I still remember that I laughed and laughed. So despite not liking/reading Spinelli’s most acclaimed works I do like him. (And Stargirl is absolutely. amazing. incredible. )I hope that Eggs will be considered one of his acclaimed works because I think it was great.
A sad boy, a friendship between children of different ages (9 and 13 or so?), a little drama, a little journey, some healing of feelings. The quirky characters-she reads decorating magazines to spruce up her room (a van), their adult confidante goes by the name of “Refrigerator John”-spice up the story and keep it from becoming too sad. Because really, how sad is it that the little boy’s mother has died and his father is always away at work? It’s very sad. Especially because his mother died in a freak accident.
A lovely little story which reminds me of that Kevin Henkes book with the boy who knits. Sun and Spoon? Protecting Marie? I think it was the latter, a beautiful story which made me cry and which I think everyone should read but Henkes’ phenomenal chapter books have been overshadowed by his phenomenal picture books. Really, if you haven’t read a Henkes chapter book please go out and do so-they are very moving and exquisitely written, with touches of humor but he doesn’t hit you over the head with them.