There I was, fever, chills, piled under blankies, reading a book, then falling asleep on said book, and waking to read a little more. Books have been companions for as long as I can remember, and for the last two days, I wrapped myself in the comfort of a well-told story, The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner. If you are a fan of YA, and realistic fiction, you should check this one out.
I only just left the main character, Frankie (Francesca) Schnell this afternoon, but she has not left me. Over the course of two days, her summer unfolded for me, and Frankie pondered many tough questions, struggled through the challenges that come with being almost sixteen, and tortured herself over a devastating life event. Along the way, beautiful, magical things start happening, and Frankie finds herself wondering if they are mere coincidence, or not.
Frankie needed to draw her own conclusions. But, I have my own conclusions about the magic of this book.
You see, while I was tucked in last night with my book, the last words I read were the two pages where one of the characters is reading from Frog and Toad Together, and in particular, he is reading the story, “Cookies.” My drifting thoughts were full of the fond memories I had reading Frog and Toad with my son, when he was small.
When I woke up, this picture, from my son, was waiting for me on our LINE app group:
With it came the following explanation:
“A beautiful room in the local library where I read children’s books to kids at the beginning of each month.”
“Today we’re reading two of my favorites.”
“On the chair on the right is Frog and Toad and on the floor is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Frog and Toad is my favorite to read though.”
I know this doesn’t seem very magical, until you realize that my son, Jeremy, is a half a world away and fourteen hours out of phase, living in Japan. So while I was sick in bed, reminiscing over snuggling with my little boy, my now big boy (read that- adult!) was on the other side of the world passing on book love to other little people.
What an incredible connection and coincidence. And can you guess which story he chose from Frog and Toad? You got it. Cookies!
So, thank you, Gae Polisner, for writing your beautiful book, so that I could be reading it at just the right moment, and have a cosmic connection with my baby, across the many miles that separate us, but not our thoughts!
And, here is an interesting footnote to this tale: While I was writing this story, I scrolled through our LINE messages to type the parts I needed, and realized that I had just referenced Jeremy’s other favorite book on Friday:
Just a little more book magic connecting me to my son. Some days are like that, even in Japan!
Thanks, Judith Viorst!