Sunday, April 19, 2020

Like Nothing Amazing Ever Happened

Blejwas, Emily. Like Nothing Amazing Ever Happened
April 14th 2020 by Delacorte Press
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

It's 1991, and Justin is adjusting to life without his father, who was recently killed in an odd accident with the local trolley. His father, who had fought in Vietnam, had managed to hold a job, but struggled with life after being in the war. Now, it's just Justin, his older brother, and their mother, trying to scrape by in their small Minnesota town. Justin is tired of being "the boy whose father was killed", but is having trouble moving on himself. He has a good friend in Phuc (pronounced "Fo"), and has a crush on Jenni. He is assigned a history day project on conflict, and instead of choosing a war, as his teacher wants him to, he researches the local history of the Native American tribe who inhabited the land. Over time, he manages to find out more about what happened to his father, and learns to deal with his emotions over missing him.
Strengths: There are not a lot of books set in Minnesota, and this was certainly a nice glimpse of what like is like in a small town. The family dynamics were interesting, and I also enjoyed Phuc's story. The cover is very pretty!
Weaknesses: I wish there had been a little less about dealing with Justin's grief and that he had been more involved in something else. Even more details about Jenni or history day would have helped.
What I really think: Will probably pass on purchase because this is very slow paced, something my students don't like. I can see it being successful as a class read aloud if a teacher is very passionate about it.

Ms. Yingling

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