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, August 19, 2012

ONE MOMENT by Kristina McBride

copyright date: June 2012
primarily marketed for: young adults (14 and up)

“We spent the rest of the evening together, hanging out in my room, my mother telling my father and me the stories behind each and every one of those worn swatches of fabric.  As I listened, losing myself in each little tale, I realized that the quilt would not have been the same, not nearly as beautiful, without the sadness.  The robin’s egg blue patch from a baby blanket that had belonged to my uncle who died when he was two, the purple satin ribbon found after a tornado destroyed my grandparents’ first home, the black silk from the dress my grandma wore to her father’s funeral—those slices of life, they were just as important as the rest.”
-a taste of the amazing book One Moment by Kristina McBride

Thanks to my friend Ruth, I am a Kristina McBride junkie.  After reading her amazing first novel, The Tension of Opposites, I was excited to hear she had a new book coming out.  When I finally started One Moment, I stopped reading only to sleep overnight and wake up early to finish the story. 

Maggie and her friends, Shannon, Tanna, Adam, Peter, and her boyfriend Joey have grown up together.  They are so close that they borrow each other’s clothes and can count on each other for anything.  As the end of the their junior year approaches, it seems they are on top of the world.  Until one tragic day jumping the cliff at the gorge ends in tragedy. 

The book opens with the scene from the gorge.  The happiness is painted so brilliantly that you can almost taste it coming to a tragic end.  Maggie and Joey head up the trail to jump the cliff into the water together.  Only Joey is the only one who ends up jumping and Maggie is left trying to piece together her memory of what happened at the top of the cliff after his jump results in his death. 

As she struggles to regain her memory, she uncovers more truths than she bargained for, each of which is more unexpectedly painful than the last.  

The ease and tension amongst the friends is written so clearly that I wanted to hang with these characters too—even as they were going through such angst.  This is one of those rare young adult books where the parents are actually present and supportive, though of course they are unable to solve the tangled problems of this group of friends. 

Although throughout the book I had suspicions about the truth, it is never as simple as it seems.  The layers of story McBride has created will keep you guessing until the end. 

Reading Threads:
The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

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