I just finished reading one of the best YA novels ever. Seriously. It ranks right up there with Where The Red Fern Grows, Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry, and Leroy And The Old Man. YA is young adult fiction -- for those of you out there who don't have a YA author for a sister. (Love you, Jodes.)
I was afraid that Gentle Ben was going to be one of those dying dog books (although you might guess from the cover that it would actually be a dying bear book). I hate it when I get tricked into reading a dying dog book. I have vowed not to read them anymore. They are like a sucker punch. (I realize the Red Fern is, in fact, a dying dog book. I fell in love with it before I realized how many other dying dog books are out there. Sue me.)
I was pleasantly surprised. I won't give away the ending or anything, but if you have a child who is as empathetic as mine, you try and monitor the amount of sadness he reads. Especially when his reading at school this year will include Where The Red Fern Grows. Ironic, no? The moment I finished it, I put in on Hayes's pillow. I can only hope he'll feel compelled to read it. I know he'll love it. It's hard to find boy books, and this one is super. Oh, and if your kid is an animal lover, this is definitely the book to get.