Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Simple Gift by Steven Herrick

This is a novel in verse. Its very short and simple and touching. I do not generally care for these books as they seem so shallow but somehow this one works and I look forward to reading Herrick's other Novels in verse.

Billy is 16 and fed up with 6 years of living in the same house but avoiding his alcoholic abusive father. He just packs up and leaves one day. Leaves everything behind, rides the rails. Maybe this part is a little incredible as this is very difficult to pull off these days. He meets a couple of caring people along the way. He's known such people before and he knows how to appreciate them. He begins living in a train car that has been side railed for a long time and eventually discovers a "hobo" living next door. He is noticed stealing leftover food at McDonald's by a girl who is intrigued rather than scared. The rest of this story is about his growing relationships with the old hobo and the girl. Its about the boy recognizing the man's hurts and respecting him, its about the man helping the boy in turn and about a growing romance. Nice. JDW 9/4/09

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