I have one word:
I noticed this cover. It was very odd. But lately people are trying to go with more “artistic” covers and things that “have not been done before.” Of course, by doing that, they have already done it, therefore it is not new. I still gave it a more careful look. Noticed it was Jack Gantos (SCORE!) and then saw the title.
A Suicide Bomber Sits in the Library
Well, that’s a bit of light reading isn’t it?
I picked it up, expecting some odd shaped (a boxy, squared book) short-story preachy as you-know-what. Nope. A graphic novel with illustrations by Dave McKean. Not that I was loving his cover, but do not judge a book by it, correct?
Now, my second comment is do not read this book if you are not feeling well as either I had a stomach cramp, or the book hit me in the gut. Hard. In fact, I was not half way through it (in the middle of the doctor’s office) thinking, “I am going to have to read this again as I am caught up in the text and cannot concentrate on the art” and “Do NOT cry in the waiting room.
I started rereading while in the office of the doctor waiting for her.
A boy is in a library thinking of blowing himself up soon. As he is already “suited up” in the red jacket filled with explosives. I cannot wait to see the final product (sadly not out until May 2019) because I am really wondering where red is going to be used (my readers copy was black and white). You know red will be a dominate color. This boy is looking at the people reading around him. He wonders who he will have the honor of killing. He is just waiting for the call. The things the boy sees and hears around him are the simplistic of things. Ones he could ignore or take to heart. What the end finally shows makes all the difference. I could not help but feel there was a Robert Frost nod when the young man takes a certain path on his journey to his target.
The text is so telling. The words Gantos uses just hit you hard. One word says a thousand things. After my doctor’s appointment I went home and finished rereading. I tend not to reread and never right after finishing a book. I read the authors notes, the dedications, even about the publisher I wanted more. There is a lot going on. This in not for children, but I could see ages 14 up able to enjoy it. This is not a causal read. Teachers take note. Based on a short story Gantos also wrote.