This weekend was a whirlwind, and Monday has come too soon (and Yul won a million bucks on Survivor!). I didn't have a topic ready for my post, and then found this post that I had written a while ago when that children's book meme was going around. My apologies for the slight post.
I just wanted to answer the "Books that made you cry" question. As I've sometimes announced at conferences, I'm a sucker for books that make me cry. And movies that make me cry. And tv shows and commercials that make me cry. And people that make me...er, just kidding. On the other hand, although I love humor and chuckle and smile at what I watch and read, it's harder to make me really laugh out loud than it is to make me cry.
I've wondered why this is, and I think it's because I'm a basically happy person who has had a basically happy life, and therefore I enjoy letting out my sadness when prompted by outside stimuli, such as books.
So, the one book that made me cry the most as a kid?
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
(yes, I know, one of those books where dogs die...)
Other books that I strongly remember making me cry, and I mean really cry as a kid:
A Taste of Blackberries by Doris Buchanan Smith
You Shouldn't Have to Say Good-Bye by Patricia Hermes
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Oddly, I never cried while reading Little Women, even though it's one of my favorite all-time books. I don't know why.
And a book that have made me sob recently?: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I edited a beautiful book that is certainly a tearjerker. The book is called Rubber Houses by Ellen Yeomans (January 2007), and it's a poetry novel about a teen girl and her little brother and... well, you can guess what happens. I read this submission two or so years ago while at work one afternoon, and it made me sob at least three different times--there I was in my office, sniffling and crying and blowing my nose. It's beautiful, moving, and real. Perhaps too real and sad for some adult readers (Kirkus rears its ugly head again), but I think it's lovely and cathartic. We've been getting some great feedback from our hip scouts:
"Rubber Houses is virtually impossible to put down, it’s a very quick read with a deep storyline. Despite their age difference, Kit and Buddy's relationship is one that everyone wishes they had with their siblings. Once Buddy's illness beings to progress, you feel strongly for Kit and how hard it is for her. Definitely recommended for readers age 12-15."
"This book will make anyone with a younger sibling cry. I usually hate free verse, but in Rubber Houses it really captures the emotions of worry, anger, disbelief, loss, drifting, and renewal that Kit experiences after her younger brother dies suddenly of cancer. Though a short read, it's an eye-opener for all of us who think these things won't happen to us. The book also has surprising insight into the relations between teens and their parents, and the deep rifts in "normal" families as Kit struggles to reconnect with her parents after Buddy's death."
"To put it simply, Rubber Houses is gut-wrenching. Do you have a younger sibling? After reading this book I can guarentee you will want to hug them and apologize for all the goodbyes that were missing an "I love you." Written in poetry form, it's a quick and easy read, but every page holds the emotion of most novels. Addicting and never slow, this is a must read, but keep the tissues close."
I couldn't have said it better myself. Obviously these teens are future book reviewers (maybe for Kirkus?). I wish I could hire them to write my flap copy--I'll probably never be nominated for a Flappy.
Happy holidays, everyone! Do you enjoy books that make you cry? Any recommendations?