Ben’s father was killed in the 9/11 attack and although the book is not about the attack, the events and perceptions expressed are a clear reflection of how prejudices can be shaped by events.
One summer Ben is sent to live with his grandparents. He meets up with Priti and her Asian family. They are joined by Ben’s cousin Jed who thinks he is the coolest dude on the the planet. The story begins due to the over active imagination of Priti who is largely the initiator of most of the book’s drama. The other plot is about how Ben and Jed lose their fathers but conversely find their mothers. Beneath Ben’s penchant for cartooning and Jed’s cool exterior lie two very troubled boys.
Author Catherine Bruton expertly handles or juggles plots, characters and detail. The result is a sensitive and intelligent book where the author confronts us with our biases and the way they can influence our relationships with those around us.
Reviewed by Janice
image by Tom Hannigan