Wonderboy by Tom Conyers
Jack lives his life in a fantasy world. His imagination takes him to fantastic places and shows him wonderful things, but it is a lonely world in which he lives. His mother and brother disapprove of this pastime, and he doesn’t have a friend to join him on these adventures…but that is soon to change. The farm next door has been empty and boarded up for as long as Jack can remember, but now the owner has returned. Mel has spent her life traveling the globe, and has now settled in her mother’s childhood home. She knows almost instantly that Jack is a kindred spirit, and although he is a bit reluctant at first, they soon become inseparable. Jack and Mel have a connection that many people never experience. Their almost telepathic bond helps them through the harsh realities of life. External forces and narrow-minded people begin working against them, and the events that unfold will change everyone.
Tom Conyers takes us on an emotional journey with Wonderboy. He perfectly portrays the innocence of childhood and the damage a few words can do. The story draws you in before you know it; making it extremely hard to put down. Amazing writing and characters that are so human they seem real help you forget that you are reading a book. The juxtaposition of the children’s innocence and joy with the adult’s cynicism and arrogance is done with an expert hand. This is a story that makes you think. It entertains while teaching and reminding us to be careful of what we say and do- something the characters have to learn themselves. Each character is on a journey and Conyers takes you along for the ride. You are in their heads and get to watch them grow and change as the story progresses. You experience the turmoil in each of them. It almost feels like you are a shadow following these people around instead of reading about them in a book. Wonderboy is a book that will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you angry. But most of all, it will make you think.
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