Saturday, December 22, 2018

When the Crickets Stopped Singing by Marilyn Cram Donahue - OPTIONAL

When the Crickets Stopped Singing by Marilyn Cram Donahue. Calkins Creek (Highlights), 2018. $19. 

Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: PG.

BUYING ADVISORY: MS - OPTIONAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

It is the summer of 1939 and a group of three twelve-year-old girls decide that they will follow the advice of the local preacher and pick some people from their small town to love. They start by befriending another girl their age who doesn’t bathe as often as they would like and a real friendship grows from this. They also try to befriend a man who has returned to his wife after being away, but they end up learning that some people are not to be trusted. This man preys on their newly acquired friend and they all gather to protect her. 

The first thing that should be acknowledged is that this book could be triggering for some readers because of the sexual predator. That said, it also may serve as a warning as to the signs of a predator and the responsibility of a community to speak out and not just shuffle the problem to a new town, in this case. There is also an insightful layer in which this story is paralleled with the worlds inaction against Hitler at the start of the war. I would recommend this book only with great caution.  


Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher

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