Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Favorites: The Book of Bright Ideas

On Fridays I post a little shout out to one of my favorite books and explain why I love it so much. It gives me the chance to fangirl over books I never reviewed on this blog and lets me post about some not necessarily YA books I love.

Which book?
The Book of Bright Ideas, by Sandra Kring


Summary? (From GoodReads)
Wisconsin, 1961. Evelyn “Button” Peters is nine the summer Winnalee and her fiery-spirited older sister, Freeda, blow into her small town–and from the moment she sees them, Button knows this will be a summer unlike any other.

Much to her mother’s dismay, Button is fascinated by the Malone sisters, especially Winnalee, a feisty scrap of a thing who carries around a shiny silver urn containing her mother’s ashes and a tome she calls “The Book of Bright Ideas.” It is here, Winnalee tells Button, that she records everything she learns: her answers to the mysteries of life. But sometimes those mysteries conceal a truth better left buried. And when a devastating secret is suddenly revealed, dividing loyalties and uprooting lives, no one–from Winnalee and her sister to Button and her family–will ever be the same.

When did I first read it?
Three years ago

Why did I first read it?
In my fiction editing class, we had to pick some books that we wouldn’t usually read. The girl sitting next to me picked this one and liked it, so I decided to give it a try.

What did I think about it then?
I immediately loved the narrator—9-year-old Button. She reminded me a little of how I was as a child—quiet, reserved, shy—so I connected with her. But I think what I liked the most about the book was that it had a happy ending. I wasn’t at all sure through most of the book that everything was going to work out, so when it did, I was so relieved. I also really loved watching Button’s parents fall in love with each other again—it was so sweet.

What do I think about it now?
This is one of those books that I can honestly say changed my life. There’s a line in it that goes, “Don’t judge people for what they’re doing until you know why they’re doing it,” and that completely altered the way I interact with people. When I get frustrated with people, that quote inevitably pops into my head and reminds me that I don’t know everything.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

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