April 25, 2018
"I wondered if your soul still has your face when it goes up to heaven, because otherwise how do the people who love you who are already in heaven know it's your soul and find you so you're not lonely and you can be together?" ~ pg. 67
Narrated by a seven-year-old boy, Only Child tells a terrifying story of a school shooting and the aftermath. First grader, Zach, is forced and squeezed into a closet with his classmates and teacher. This is not a drill. Zach can hear gunshots in the school hallway. A gunman has entered the building taking nineteen lives (including Zach's older brother). Needless to say, everyone involved will never forget this fateful day; multiple students, faculty and families are affected.
While Zach's mother blames the parents of the shooter and seeks justice, Zach replays the school shooting in his head and sorts through his feelings in a new hideout at home: yet another closet. His own journey through healing eventually helps adults to pull through the darkness and forgive.
"I never sat in a closet before today and yesterday, because closets are not for hanging out, they're for putting stuff away." ~ pg. 63
Only Child gave me all the vibes of Room and This Is Where It Ends. The intricate detail of a tragedy unfolding and raw emotions of young characters tug at your heart strings. The language of a child who is unaware of the magnitude of a situation. It makes you wonder "What if?" long after the book is finished. It also makes you wonder how can a kid so innocent handle such an unfortunate experience. Let alone help the adults heal, forgive and move forward. Little bodies have the biggest hearts!
Well done on your debut, Rhiannon Navin!
Title: Only Child
Author: Rhiannon Navin
Published: February 2018
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤