This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Book Review: each little bird that sings by Deborah Wiles

CJ and I picked this book up at the best bookstore ever, Quail Ridge Books & Music last year. Deborah Wiles came to promote her latest book, The Aurora County All-Stars and CJ picked this book for Deborah to sign.

It was CJ's first book author meeting. Her 4th grade teacher was very encouraging about having her students come out to the book signing. She loves these books, so we went and I thoroughly enjoyed Deborah's personality. It was then that I picked up a writer's journal -- something Deborah Wiles mentioned she has on her always.

I followed her blog for awhile and then she stopped posting to it at the end of 2007...mainly, a blog chronicling her book tour.

Recently, CJ has picked up on her book reading and what I mean by that is that she's reading more novels vs. little chapter books. I don't care what she reads as long as she reads for enjoyment, but to see her transform into a bigger, better book make me proud.

In fact, she recently finished Twilight in just three days. Twilight being the most BOOK, book, she's ever read. And she loved it. I have to remind her that I begged for her to read the excuse for me to buy it so that eventually I could read it. I have no idea why I felt the need to push her for my benefit, but in the end, it worked out since we are all reading it. Except for Mi-Mi, who is screaming "I'm next! I'm next" after each one of us finishes the book. She could probably take it on with little help from us as she tends to read over my shoulders and does pretty darn good for a five year old.

But before Twilight, CJ finally read the book she bought at Deborah Wiles' book signing last year: each little bird that sings. She told me one day she had finished the book and I asked how it was and she said: sad. I asked if it made her cry and she nodded yes.

This is amazing to me because out of all of us Huffman's, Mi-Mi is the only one that shows her emotions. We are all pretty stoic in nature. I tend to show more emotion by crying at books, movies, commercials, etc. Mi-Mi does too, but I have no idea if it's because she's emulating me or because she really feels the tears (I'm going with the latter).

But CJ, out of all of us, is the least emotional person -- except when she gets mad. But movies do not make her cry. And when she said that this book had made her cry, I was stupefied. I had to read it.

I read it on the way back from our phenomenal trip to the mountains. It is sad in nature but light-hearted too. And at one point in the novel, the tears flooded and I pretty much cried all the way home. I stopped thirty pages short of finishing because it was just too intense...but I have to say, if you plan to read the book, give yourself a good three hours to read it non-stop because it really does build up and provide that overall "feeling" of the nature of the story.

It is a wonderful story. Sweet, sweet, sweet as can be. The characters are so heartwarmingly adorable. The story is richly fresh and pure. I don't know quite how to describe how enjoyable this book is to read -- to live in it's 259 page world was a great pleasure.

The protagonist of this beautiful novel is 10 year old Comfort Snowberger. Comfort lives with her family, who run the town of Snapfinger, Mississippi's funeral home. And death, while constant in this family business, is not a way to be sad always but to live life...and liver to serve.

We meet Comfort's family & friends: Declaration - her BFF, Dismay - Funeral Dog extraordinaire, Peach - her annoying cousin, Great-Uncle Edisto - a favorite uncle, Tidings - her big brother, and Great-Great-Aunt Florentine...among many many other wonderful people.

I don't want to tell too much of the story as I believe, the element of its spell would be broken if I breathed one word of it.

I had no idea what this book was truly before reading it and thus I became enraptured with Comfort and her story. I laughed. I got mad. I got very mad. I laughed. I hurt. And then I cried. And cried...and cried.

This year is a year for me to read multiple books by one author: Stephanie Meyers, Anita Diamant and now, Deborah Wiles...for there is no way I can not NOT read more of her books.

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