We received this book to give an honest review.
Before I even started to read the book the author mentioned that there was talk of death so I had a heads up. I was worried when I started the book if K would enjoy the book being as this is not something he would have just picked up to start reading. We started reading about two chapters a night and it took us a good two weeks to finish it. I will say this, you will cry with this book. K got very upset with the fact that Sammy died, he didn't want him too. He also mentioned that there shouldn't be bad words. Though the only bad word that is mentioned is the s word and that is only three times. This led me to explain how the person who said that was expressing his feelings.
There were a lot of things that I enjoyed with this book. It had K really ask questions on what the meaning of certain words were, to what exactly is cancer and, even to why do people die? It was a great discussion for us and it is something that I took time to answer.
Calvin is a normal kid with a brother who loves to follow him around, so Calvin gives him things to do to earn a 'level' which for his brother Sammy it is something amazing. I will be honest I cried when Sammy earned the highest level possible. Then Calvin starts spending more time with a new friend and less with his brother. This leads us to where the family gets the news you never want to hear and this has Calvin feeling so many emotions one of them being guilt. Now as the story progresses we see how Sammy handles his sickness and how Calvin handles it. Calvin even makes a friend with a kid in the hospital named Oliver and Oliver seems to have sound advice when asked. I really loved Oliver's interpretation of Heaven and the poem that is read towards the end, well lets just say it goes perfect with it all.
We learn how Calvin believes he killed his brother but it is something you need to read to find out why he believes that. I can honestly say this is one of the best books I have read with K that seemed to really open his eyes. I would really recommend this book for the middle grades.