Thursday, June 25, 2020

72. Silent Journey

Silent Journey. Carl Watson. Illustrated by Andrew Bosley. 2020. 176 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Scott Schroeder yanked a can out of the drink machine in front of the gas station. As he fumbled with his change from the slot, a coin fell out of his hand and rolled out into the drive. He stepped to it and bent over to pick it up. A sudden bump from behind sent him sprawling.

Premise/plot: Scott stars in Watson's coming of age novel, Silent Journey. Scott, our hero, is deaf; trauma "caused" his deafness; there is no physical reason. He loves, loves, loves gymnastics. He misses his father like crazy when he is away. He is shipped from one relative to another to another to another. His best companion is a dog.

My thoughts: Silent Journey is a busy, busy, busy book in terms of plot. I feel like the author ends up juggling five or six balls instead of just three.

I did like Scott, for the most part. I liked seeing Scott make friends (some human, one dog). I liked seeing Scott do gymnastics, something he loves. I thought Scott's loneliness resonated which I suppose was a good thing.

What I didn't like, what I in fact absolutely HATED was the "need" to "fix" Scott's deafness and thereby make for a HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE ENDING when it comes to the pet dog. (Not to mention the uncle).

Another thing that confused me a good deal was the story line about his paternity. (Was his uncle his father? Is his father his uncle?) I thought this added a busy-layer to the story that was more distracting than not. I wasn't confused by the storytelling to be clear.

© 2020 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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