As always, I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of John David Anderson's latest book. I've enjoyed everything he's written - and I've participated in blog tours to celebrate almost all of them! Take a look at the synopsis of the book, then check out my thoughts about this latest release.
FINDING ORION by John David Anderson
Publishing on May 7, 2019 by Walden Pond Press, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Sometimes you need to lose something in order to find yourself.
Beloved author John David Anderson returns with a heartwarming, heartbreaking and unforgettable story of the true power and limits of family.
Ron Kwirk comes from a rather odd family. His mother named him and his sisters after her favorite constellations, and his father makes funky-flavored jelly beans for a living. One sister acts as if she’s always onstage, and the other is a walking dictionary. But no one in the family is more odd than Rion’s grandfather, Papa Kwirk.
He’s the kind of guy who shows up on his motorcycle only on holidays, handing out crossbows and stuffed squirrels as presents. Rion has always been fascinated by Papa Kwirk, especially since his son—Rion’s father—is the complete opposite. Where Dad is predictable, nerdy, and reassuringly boring, Papa Kwirk is mysterious, dangerous, and cool.
Which is why, when Rion and his family learn of Papa Kwirk’s death and pile into the car to attend his funeral and pay their respects, Rion can’t help but fell that that’s not the end of the story. That there’s so much more to Papa Kwirk to discover.
He doesn’t know how right he is.
I'm a sucker for quirky kids, and this family really earns the name Kwirk. I also love the kids who want to NOT be seen as quite as unusual -- and the kids who sometimes straddle that line. I loved how we slowly learned more about Rion's grandfather, and I think my students will also love the slightly mysterious path the family takes on that journey.
Personally - I adored Rion's mother. I think it's great to be able to share a book with students where we all can find deep connections. Rion's mother's love for space brought me back to my childhood passion for NASA. (Yes, I have a favorite constellation and it is ORION. I also idolized Sally Ride.)
Anderson nails both the humor and the tender emotions in this story. This is a loving family that has some normal and not-so-normal challenges. This is a story about how we may not really know what we think we know about our families. Maybe Rion's story will help us learn to open our eyes and hearts to those around us. To really SEE them for all of their complexities and foibles. To assume less and accept more. To seek and find the good hearted reasons behind behaviors we may not like or understand. After all, aren't more acceptance and understanding some of the best outcomes from a good book?
This would be a WONDERFUL title for a small group read, for a read-aloud, or to hand off to any child who is looking for a realistic fiction title with humor and heart.
John David Anderson is the author of some of the most beloved and highly acclaimed books for kids in recent memory, including the New York Times Notable Book Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, Posted, Granted, Sidekicked, and The Dungeoneers. A dedicated root beer connoisseur and chocolate fiend, he lives with his wonderful wife and two frawsome kids in Indianapolis, Indiana. He’s never eaten seven scoops of ice cream in a single sitting, but he thinks it sounds like a terrific idea. You can visit him online at www.johndavidanderson.org
Check out the other stops on the blog tour!
Blog Tour May 6-14 2019
May 6 Nerdy Book Club
May 7 Bluestocking Thinking
May 8 The Book Monsters
May 9 Maria’s Melange
May 13 This Kid Reviews Books
May 14 Kirsti Call
**I received a free, advance copy of this book from the publisher. This did not impact my review of the book**
My posts for his other titles...
Dungeoneers (Q&A) . Dungeoneers (fun author post)
Sidekicked (review) . Sidekicked (fun author post)