Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: A Certain October by Angela Johnson







When I usually write a review it’s words that come to me or scenes or images of a location or visualizations of the characters. With a certain October all of my recollections are emotionally based. The characters in these book come to life in Angela’s narrative. Their is such a naturalness and truth to the characters dialogue and behaviors.

Scotty is a young teen that is very grounded in her life. She is in a healthy blended family with a cookie loving younger brother, Keone who is prone to naked rambles in the front yard with his favorite treat.


Johnson folds us into Scotty’s life. We meet her two friends Misha and Falcone, the daily trials of school lunches and the  10 page Anna Karenina report that looms on Scotty’s mind.

There is a special rhythm to Scotty’s family. A solid drumbeat of life. But the heart of Scotty’s neighborhood and her family are damaged by an unfortunate accident.


Keone loves trains. So after a day of errands and doctor’s appointment’s Scotty decides to take the train home. She is surprised to meet one of her childhood friends on the train and more surprised by their easy conversation and his offer to skip his stop and help her home.


Shyly agreeing the too settle into their seats just seconds before a fatal accident. Now Keone is in a coma and Scotty struggles with feelings of guilt and fear for her brothers future.


This book is an amazing journey. It deals with some vey important themes and has a variety of diverse characters. It left me in tears! Such a wonderful exploration of the beauty and fragility of human life and the resilience of the heart.

Highly Recommend this book!

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