Tuesday, May 10, 2011


The Pull of GravityWe don't often review Young Adult novels on our blog but I have been trying to read more adult novels this year.  After attending ALAN this fall, I was happy to see so many YA novels appropriate for some 5th graders.  And it is fun to read books that my 11 year old daughter is also interested in, now that she is starting to read YA. I don't have time to read lots of YA so I make sure that the only YA I read are the great ones.

Today, THE PULL OF GRAVITY by Gae Polisner will be on shelves in bookstores and libraries. What a great book it is. Even if you don't read too many YA books, I would definitely recommend reading this one.  As with almost every book that I love, I LOVED the characters in this book.  I am sure that Nick Gardner and Jaycee Amato will stay with me for a long time.

This starts out as the story of Nick.  He is going through a hard time.  His next door neighbor and good friend, Scoot, is dying of a rare disease that has made him age prematurely.   But this reality is hard for Nick to believe.  Nick's father, who has become depressed and overweight over the past several years, has decided to walk to NYC, leaving the family behind. Nick can't believe that his father won't be coming back and ignores all of his calls and emails. All that is going on around him seems to be too much to deal with.  Then he meets Jaycee, a friend of Scoot's who has an idea. An idea that is totally out of character for Nick, but one that he agrees to. The adventure turns out to be more difficult than expected (as most journeys are) and doesn't go quite as planned, but it seems worth the difficulties in the end.

I loved so much about this book. First of all, it isn't an overly long book-it is about 200 pages. I am getting a little tired of really long books that just seem to be long for no reason. This book tells a great story and shares a powerful message in 200 pages. Don't get me wrong--I would have loved another 800 pages about these characters.  I loved the characters. They were very believable and very timely. Both characters have very real home issues they are dealing with, just as so many of our kids are. And I loved that the book didn't have all the answers. But mostly, I love these characters. I love who they are individually and who they are together.  My very favorite stories seem to be about people coming together to become more themselves and THE PULL OF GRAVITY is one of those stories.

There are references to Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck throughout the book.  I have not read the book in a very long time but the author does a great job of filling in the missing connections for readers who are not familiar with the book.  The way this piece of literature weaves through this story is pretty brilliant.

I love the premise of this book, the story, the characters and the writing.  So excited to have finally gotten a copy of this book as I'd been hearing about it for months. Now that I've read it, I so understand what all the buzz was about.  This book is sure to be a hit with middle school and high school kids.  Whether you read much YA or not, I'd recommend reading this one.

And I am already looking forward to Gae Polisner's next book.

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