Water Balloon. It’s a book.
For middle schoolers–mostly.
And had it not been resting in display mode on the library shelf, I might have missed it forever.
I motioned to my daughter that I was ready to leave. She motioned back–just three more pages. Which was when I shrugged and picked up Water Balloon and started reading. And smiling. And looking around to see if I’d laughed out loud.
My daughter sprung from her chair at the close of her book and I made a move to put Water Balloon back. Neat and tidy. Right where I found it.
Only I couldn’t.
I was smitten with the delivery of the words I’d just read. And I needed more.
That was Thursday.
This morning I picked up the book again. Only I started from the beginning so my husband and daughter wouldn’t miss a thing. And we rode that way to church–me reading aloud, all of us smiling, and my son asking for food from the back.
It’s this: It’s the words. It really is. And a book with refreshing words is like opening the dryer door and finding a twenty in the lint rack. Totally unexpected. This is one of those.
What the author, Audrey Vernick, has done is made Marley, her seventh grade narrator, completely believable. The way she speaks is natural. Her dialogue makes sense. And without our even being aware, we sense we’ve gotta read more about this seventh grader’s life. If for the writing alone.
At home we went in four separate directions until we converged at the dining room table before dinner. Whereby my husband said on the sly, “how bout reading another chapter of that book aloud.”
And so I did.
**Final note. Definitely a book for middle school girls. Somewhat predictable theme(s) with girl friendships, divorce and boy interest. But each theme is delivered with a rare honesty that makes the reading worthwhile. Engaging beginning for anyone!