The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
3 words: charming, quirky, heartwarming
Yes, I said “heartwarming” without retching. I know. That’s not supposed to happen. Cuz man I can’t abide heartwarming.
Then this book came along.
And I loved every heartwarming minute of it.
Apparently, this is the recipe for getting me to read and actually like this type of thing:
Start with one lively 104-year-old woman. Add one 11-year-old boy on the autism spectrum. Add his devastated mother. Add his absentee father, who wishes to do penance.
Then add a Boy Scout project that matches up the centenarian with the boy, who proceeds to interview her about her life.
And since he’s obsessed with the Guinness Book of Records, he decides she should try to set one. Or several. Here’s an excerpt from one of their conversations…
“‘Oldest sky diver is taken. Plus oldest pilot. Plus oldest showgirl.’ He frowned.” (p. 63)
That totally cracked me up. The woman is 104 years old!
The charming thing about the book is that the author perfectly captures the speech patterns of a woman of 100+ and a boy with autism. They sound exactly like they would really sound.
And their friendship becomes a real thing.
Then the boy dies, and I know… if you’re like me, you can’t handle the dying children books. But in this case, it happens quickly, and he’s still present throughout the rest of the book. So it’s sad, but man did he ever make a difference in people’s lives. Lots of people’s lives.
Also: read this book anyway.
Give this book a whirl if you like… the Guinness Book of Records, intergenerational friendships, reinventing one’s life, stories of one person’s small actions having a big impact on others
What heartwarming books would you suggest to a reader with low tolerance for such things?