Book Review: Only Child


Zach Taylor is 6 years old when this story begins. The book opens when a gunman is shooting at people in the elementary school.

The first paragraph... 

The thing I later remembered the most about the day the gunman came was my teacher Miss Russell's breath. It was hot and smelled like coffee. The closet was dark except for a little light that was coming in through the crack of the door that Miss Russell was holding shut from inside. There was no door handle on the inside, only a loose metal piece and she pulled it in with her thumb and pointer finger.

Zach is huddled with his teacher and classmates in a closet, trying not to make any noise. He describes the sounds and smells he experienced in that closet.

After the gunman is contained and shot, the children are herded into a nearby church where the parents are to pick them up.

When his mother arrives, it is only then, when his mother asks him about Andy, that Zach thinks about his brother. He feels guilty about this.

Tragically Andy was killed by the gunman. Who just happens to be the teen-aged son of one of the school's most beloved employees.

Zach's words...When you die and it's time for your funeral, that's when people say goodbye to you.

Children are more honest than adults. There are no nuances. To a six year old, things are up or down, black or white.

By the end of this story you will remember what it felt like to be a short person in a world full of adult complications. 

Because there is a child in all of us.

Zack's words...I never knew you could feel more than one feeling inside of you at the same time.

But more than one feeling at the same time, right next to each other or on top of each other and all mixed up inside you? I never knew that could happen. 

This author did a superb job of being able to see and write this entire story through the eyes of a child.

***


About the author... 

RHIANNON NAVIN grew up in Bremen, Germany, in a family of book-crazy women. 

Her career in advertising brought her to New York City, where she worked for several large agencies before becoming a full-time mother and writer. 

She now lives outside of New York City with her husband, three children, and two cats. 

This is her first novel.  


3 comments

  1. Sounds like a great story,sadly,relevant to the times we live in...I dont remember ever feeling afraid in school,grew up in a small town suburb of NYC,everyone knew your name,guilty of something?
    Mom knew before we got home:)
    My grandson started kindergarten this year,I wonder if he'll be passing through metal detectors by the time high school starts?
    Crazy world!!!!

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  2. Sounds like the author is writing about Sandy Hook. I find that a little disturbing for that to be a novel. If it was a recount from someone who lived through it that would be different. I don't think I would buy this book.

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  3. I do remember feeling fear in school--as we had bomb drills--we had to go into the hall ways and sit with our hands over top of head with our heads down--this was in the late 50's and early 60's--so there is other reason's to not feel safe at school.
    thanks for the review--
    enjoy each moment, di

    ReplyDelete

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