Lana's Reviews > The Mailbox

The Mailbox by Audrey Shafer
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Jul 04, 10

bookshelves: young-adult-literature
Read in July, 2010

Absolutely one of the more gorgeous books I've read. A simple story about Gabe, who is taken care of by his last living relative, Uncle Vernon. When Vern dies unexpectedly, Gabe finds solace through mysterious notes left in the mailbox as he struggles to deal with his grief and guilt for thinking his uncle's death was somehow his fault. Gabe's a "young" sixth grader in this emotionally speaking, but he's articulate and kind and absolutely sympathetic. I spent half this book in tears. Lots of very poetic moments and realistic interactions set against a background of adults who are far from perfect. There's a deeper background link to the Vietnam war - Vernon was a decorated soldier in his youth - that is dealt with both with honesty and sensitivity and doesn't dodge the larger emotional trauma of that war.

Absolutely rocketed to the top of my "Best YA" books though it probably won't win any awards with action seekers, anyone who likes realistic fiction or sympathetic character situations will probably enjoy this.
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