In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott says, “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

My hope is that this is what books become to you—as important as almost anything else on earth. This blog is about helping you find the miracle in these small, flat, rigid squares of paper while you are in middle school and beyond. Once you read alongside me, you are forever a member of my tribe of readers. No matter how you old you are, when you need to be reminded of the power of a good story, you will find me here, waiting to place one in your hands.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

THE EVERAFTER by Amy Huntley

copyright date: 2009
primarily marketed for: 8th grade and up

I am fascinated by books featuring a character who is already dead (The Lovely Bones, The Afterlife, The Sledding Hill, Everlost, Elsewhere, Heaven Looks A Lot Like the Mall to name a few of my favorites).  That’s why I picked up this one. 

The Everafter tells the story of the immediate afterlife of Madison Stanton.  Somehow the author is able to explain her version of being suspended in nothingness so that as a read I could almost feel what Madison felt, or rather what she experienced since she is no longer capable of feeling. 

While floating, existing, in the everafter, Madison encounters objects she lost in life.  The objects appear to her in the form of x-ray-like images (like the orchids on the cover).  By touching these objects, she is transported back to certain moments from her life.  As she visits, she experiments to figure out the rules of her new state of being (which is one of the aspects that fascinate me about stories like this) and what the purpose of these visits could be. 

Ultimately, the book is a satisfying story.  The moments from her life that led up to her tragic and untimely death are interesting, but it is really uncovering the story of her death that kept me reading.  The story is surprising, yet not entirely unrealistic.  It is not until I uncovered this story that the rest of the book fit together and I understood why Madison was left to visit those objects. 

1 comment:

  1. I've read the others, but still cannot bring myself to read The Lovely Bones. This book sounds interesting, & I actually loved The Sledding HIll and Elsewhere. Each one seems to be so interested in how the afterlife "is" and closure of the life that is gone. It's curious to me how this topic has emerged in these past years. Thanks for telling about a new one, Christy!