Josiah's Reviews > A Giant Crush

A Giant Crush by Gennifer Choldenko
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Aug 08, 12


Here's an author/illustrator team that I knew I was going to like as soon as I heard that they'd collaborated on a book! I've been fond of Gennifer Choldenko's writing ever since reading Al Capone Does My Shirts, a creative and fresh twist on the standby genre of historical fiction, and who could help but like Melissa Sweet's understated yet memorable illustrations in James Howe's Pinky and Rex series? I was pretty sure that I was going to like A Giant Crush, and the finished product didn't disappoint in the least.

Grownups often think of relationships among kids as being unentangled and uncomplicated, but the uncertainties of love have a way of causing disorder in any age group. In this case, Cooper's friend Jackson has taken a liking to a girl in their class named Cami, but Jackson is hesitant about letting Cami know. Another boy in their class, Carter, seems to have eyes for Cami, too, and he's much closer to Cami's size than Jackson. Jackson is afraid that no matter what he does, Cami will only ever see him as a giant, bigger than all of the other kids his age. If she can't see past his height, then maybe Cami will choose Carter by default. Maybe Jackson will never be able to get the girl he likes to return his affections.

Placing faith in a deserving someone to see you for who you really are can be one of the most rewarding things about life, though, when it turns out for the best. Jackson may be bigger than the other kids, but Cooper knows that his friend's size doesn't matter; and, when Jackson finally takes the step of faith to let Cami know how he really feels about her, perhaps she, too, will see that Jackson is so much more than a "giant".

While A Giant Crush is suited well to Valentine's Day reading, it's really a story fitting to any season of the year. The writing is good, the illustrations fit the feel of the story quite nicely, and the sense of happiness when you find someone who likes you as much as you like them is portrayed with all the pleasantly dizzying sweetness of a new relationship just gaining its legs. As I see it, the message of this book is summed up to lovely effect in the short but heartfelt line from its back cover: "Friends don't let friends give up on love." I would consider giving two and a half stars to A Giant Crush, and I fondly recommend it.
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