This review copy came to me packaged in an interesting way. In a heavy ziplock bag labeled "THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO READ The Honest Truth" were these items:
This is the story of a kid named Mark, who has a best friend (who happens to be a girl but who is NOT a girlfriend) Jessie, and another best friend who is a dog named Beau. It is a story of the deep and powerful bond of friends.
Mark writes haiku in his notebook. He takes photographs with an old-school camera that uses film. This is the story about the healing power of art.
This is a story full of spirit and heart. It's a story that makes you rage at the unfairness of life and cheer for all the angels that take care of strangers every day in a million small ways.
This is a story of a boy who runs away from home to climb Mount Rainier. It's about the need for big goals so that you can prove to yourself and the world that you are still in control of your life. It's about surviving the storm so that you get a chance to glimpse the sun coming out from under the clouds at the other end of it.
I apologize for reviewing this book so far in advance of its release date. You will want to read it. It's Dan Gemeinhart's debut novel. We will all want to read more from him.
On a separate but related note, I am going to invite my students to "market" a book they've read this year using the "three things you need to read this book" idea. Once upon a time, that might have seemed like a trite way to ask students to respond to their reading. Now it's marketing. Hmm...