Booktalk Thursday- Orchards by Holly Thompson
Still reeling from a classmate’s suicide, Kanako is sent to Japan to spend the summer on her maternal grandmother’s fruit farm. Grief and guilt consume Kanako. It was her friends, a group of eighth grade girls, who ostracized Ruth and whose actions pushed Ruth to choosing suicide. Now in her mother’s childhood home, a place that feels both familiar and foreign, Kanako has space and time to recover and become re-acquainted with family. Working long hours in the orange groves in the summer heat gives Kanako time to think. When another tragedy strikes, Kanako is prepared return home and rebuild her life.
This novel in verse is poignant and so heartbreaking. In spare, beautiful poetry Thompson chronicles Kanako’s journey to recovery. I love that her poetry is deeply infused with nature and science; it’s unexpected but works so well in this story. Orchards is a really quick read that is hard to forget. Make sure you have tissues handy.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman is another tear jerker. Mia is in a coma after a horrific car accident that took her entire family. Is there anything worth waking up for?
After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings and Flew Away by Joyce Carol Oates is another emotionally-driven book about a girl who blames herself for the car accident that killed her mother.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher has been an incredibly popular book about a boy who discovers why the girl he liked committed suicide.