Thursday, July 9, 2020

74. Don't Stand So Close To Me

Don't Stand So Close. Eric Walters. 2020. Orca. 128 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: “Isaac, could you please pay at least a little attention?” Jenna asked. Isaac looked up from his phone. “Believe me, I’m paying as little attention as I can,” he said.

Premise/plot: Quinn and her friends struggle with the changes that COVID 19 brings to their lives. Quinn is the daughter of a doctor. The book captures her observations in her home and in her life overall. It opens the day before their scheduled last day of school before spring break. It closes with a bit of hope--a social-distance-observing block party.

My thoughts: This book was published super-super-super fast in reaction to the times. The book is like a time capsule of what March through May was like. A time capsule is a good way to think of it. To middle schoolers who have lived through these months, I can't see them NEEDING to read about it. They've been there, done that. They know about the drastic, seemingly overnight changes. But future generations will. For those that were born circa 2015 to 2020 by the time they're old enough to read this it will be a good read. There will be something universal about it, something that brings generations together. It might also help to read with some hindsight knowing how it ended. Right now we don't know how it will end, when it will end, how many lives will be lost, how many families forever impacted because of a loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of a home, etc. The book ends as well as it can for being stuck in what may or may not be the middle of a pandemic.

© 2020 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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