A co-worker and fellow-librarian was on a mission to get this book checked out more so it doesn't get weeded. It just doesn't seem to get the love it deserves. She loved the book, and I'm all about reading great books. I will say I'm so glad I checked this book out.
Matylda, Bright and Tender by Holly M. McGhee is a beautiful, well written character driven story about loss/death, healing, and love.
Sussy (short for Susquehanna) Reed and her best friend Guy Hose have a beautiful friendship, and do many things a child can relate to. When they are in 4th grade they are able to convince Sussy's parents that they need a pet to "love all their own." That's when Matylda makes her appearance, and she has a valuable roll in this coming of age story.
Holly McGhee's debut novel is fantastic. The writing and feel of the story reminded me of Sharon Creech's books, or Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl.
Matylda, Bright and Tender gets 5 out of 5 stars. This book is a gentle moving story, but at 200 pages it's a quick read as well. I loved the writing. McGhee wrote the tough parts, like death, quite well. She wrote the emotions Sussy was feeling well. The only part I didn't love is the stealing part, and I wish there was more explanation in that connection and Sussy's healing and growth.
This would be a fabulous book for anyone that wants to heal from loss and relate to someone. This would be a great classroom read aloud, or nightly read with your kids. All in all, Matylda, Bright and Tender is a fabulous book that deserves more attention.
Happy Middle Grade Fiction Heartwarming Coming of Age Reading!
Matylda, Bright and Tender by Holly M. McGhee
Rating: 5/5 stars
Best For: 8 -14 yrs old, 3rd grade- 8th grade
# of Pages: 210
Clean Read: Yes.
Worth a Check Out: Yes. Similar feel to Sharon Creech novels.
Buy It or Not: Yes. Especially, if you know a child or teen that lost a loved one. This would be a great book for bibliotherapy reasons regarding death and healing.
Read Aloud: Yes this would make a great classroom read aloud for 3rd-5th grade class room, or with a parent at night.
Lesson Ideas: Death. Pets. Pet Care. Love. Guilt. Forgiveness. Stealing. Friendship. Family Relationships. Character Driven Story.
Have you read Matylda, Bright and Tender? What did you think of it?
A few quotes from Matylda, Bright and Tender that I had to share with you:
"That's when I knew I loved him- not in a fairy-tale way with a princess or prince or anything like that. I just loved him, the way you love the people closest to you." pg 2
"Don't look down, forget you can fall, fool yourself that way." pg 51
"I know it sounds silly, but sometimes a simple change on the outside can make you feel new." pg 131