Saturday, June 16, 2018

Matylda, Bright & Tender by Holly M. McGhee - ADVISABLE

McGhee, Holly M. Matylda, Bright & Tender, 210 pages. Candlewick Press, 2017. $17.

Language: G (0 swears); Violence: G; Mature Content: PG (death, shoplifting)



Sussy and Guy are in the 4th grade and have been best friends for years. When Sussy's dad finally gives in to their pleadings, they go together to buy a leopard gecko and name her Matylda; she lives with Sussy but its Guy that holds Matylda's heart. When Guy is suddenly taken in a terrible accident, Sussy finds herself completely lost except for Matylda--a small piece of Guy that Sussy still has. As she desperately tries to make a real connection with Matylda--a connection like Guy had--Sussy also has to figure out how to deal with her grief and find a way to carry on. 

This is a fantastic little book with a story that really resonates on a variety of levels. The characters are believable and the story is simple yet profound. I found myself very moved by how a young girl might grieve over a devastating loss, and I think the story does a great job of tackling a difficult subject. That being said, this also strikes me as a book that adults might love more than kids. Its definitely still a great book for upper elementary, but I do not know if young readers will fully appreciate the great message of this story without some parent or teacher guidance.

Reviewer: TC 

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