Rummanah Aasi

Description: Miles is an anxious boy who loves his family's bowling center even if though he could be killed by a bolt of lightning or a wild animal that escaped from the Philadelphia Zoo on the way there.
Amy is the new girl at school who wishes she didn't have to live above her uncle's funeral home and tries to write her way to her own happily-ever-after. Then Miles and Amy meet in the most unexpected way and that's when it all begins.

Review: Gephart returns with another sensitive portrayal of friendship and grief in In Your Shoes, her latest novel. The story is told in two alternating chapters. Amy Silverman's mother has died from cancer, so she and her father move to Pennsylvania, more specifically into her uncle's funeral home, where her dad will work once he finishes his classes in funeral arts. Amy is lonely and grieving. Meanwhile, Miles Spagoski, whose family owns Buckington Bowl, the local bowling alley, is also feeling sorrow, as well as anxiety. He misses his grandmother, who died a year ago, and is worried about his ailing grandfather.
  The tweens meet under unfortunate and awkward circumstances on Amy's first day of school: before Amy even enters the building, Miles's lucky bowling shoe gets tossed in the air and clonks her on the head. Though Amy and Miles are destined to become close, Gephart takes her time in the build up to friendship which is adorable and entertaining. Through Amy and Miles the reader is able to see how different people deal with the death of a loved one and grieve. Amy turns to creative writing as her outlet when life becomes to much to handle whereas Miles bowls. The bowling motif is woven well into the story from the terminology to the very structure of the novel. Unfortunately, intercepting Amy's and Mile's narration is an omniscient narrator which did nothing for me as a reader. The narrator pointed things out that were clearly obvious and took me out of the story. I would have much rather spent more time with Amy and Miles who are endearing main characters, as are their friends, Randall and his weight-lifting, blue-haired crush, Tate. The plot moves at a swift pace with several crises that help move the story along. Ultimately it is the burgeoning relationship between Amy and Miles who need (and find) both help and hope that will capture your heart.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: Death of a parent. Recommended for Grades 4 and up.

If you like this book try: Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson
2 Responses
  1. This sounds sweet and like it could help students who are themselves grieving.

  2. The omniscient narrative would bother me a bit, but I think this sounds like a moving and powerful book about grief for the tweens.

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