Saturday, July 24, 2010

Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze, by Alan Silberberg

Milo and his family move around a lot. He is currently on House #5, which seems nice enough, but you never know. He has to change schools again and this time he’s headed to Junior High. With a name like Milo Cruikshank he knows he will never be part of the “Cool Name Club” like all of the Bobs, Ricks, Steves, Daves and Mikes, but nonetheless, he’s trying to look at all of these changes as opportunities.

For example, he’s already spied a super cute girl at the corner store, and it doesn’t matter too much that he was buying toilet paper when he saw her.

But there’s a heck of a lot more to Milo than the regular nerdy kid moving and going into middle school. See, house #4 was coined “the fog house” for a very good reason. That’s where Milo was living when his mom was sick and went into the hospital. Everything from that house is a bit blurry because really, who wants to remember that time?

Milo’s dad has even gone as far as trying to erase his mom.  The clothes, the pictures, the jewelry boxes, even the pots and pans are gone. It just kind of happened. It was never discussed.

Meanwhile, Milo has managed to find himself some friends. He has Marsh (aka One Eyed Jack), and Hillary from next door. Milo’s not too sure about Hillary and her sticky notes at first, but Marsh doesn’t question Milo’s freak flag, and even seems to like the same stuff as he does. Things almost seem good.

But then there’s Sylvia…the lady across the street that seems to think that Milo should work on remembering his mom, instead of just letting his dad erase her. After all, Milo is feeling that not only his mom is gone; his dad has turned into someone that he doesn’t even recognize.

Alan Silberberg has written an astounding illustrated novel that deals with the loss of a parent. Milo’s feelings are real and raw, and he’s busy coping with trying to be in 7th grade, while sorting out needing a parent who is no longer there. Alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, readers will effortlessly be drawn to Milo and his friends and family. This is not simply a book about losing a parent…it is a pitch perfect story of being in middle school, the push/pull of need and independence, and the story of a boy.

Outstanding.

2 comments:

Omi said...

sounds like a good book!!

Stacy Dillon said...

I really enjoyed it. Milo certainly pulled on this reader's heart strings!