Paratore, Coleen Murtagh. 2009. The Funeral Director's Son. 136 pages. Simon & Schuster.
This one falls into the cute but not quite for me category. What it does have going for it, in my opinion, is its light, conversational often-humorous narrative style. I think you'll see what I mean right from the start:
I spend a lot of time thinking about f-words.Our narrator is Christopher (Kip) and he's just turned twelve. He doesn't want to go into the family business. He doesn't care how many generations back the business goes. He knows there must be more to life than burying other folks.
Food. Friends. Fun.
That's right, funerals.
How does Kip contribute to the family business? Well, he talks to dead people. (In a way. He hears a voice that tells him what the dead person *needs* to cross over to the other side.) So he helps the dead take care of their unfinished business; he helps unburden the dead. So there are several different adventures in the book where he does just that.
The narrator does make this a fun and easy read. So I can see why readers could get hooked.
© Becky Laney of Young Readers