It’s a quiet time of year, isn’t it? That lull before the shift into Fall and the coming school season. People are on vacation or shopping for school supplies, cleaning out closets, pulling out old sweaters. Nobody seems to be working very hard. And in this desultory space, my new book, Along Came Spider, quietly squeezes onto the shelves. There’s not been much buzz, but, hey, we’ll attribute that to the transitory nature of the season.
Even so, I found a little review by Monica Young in the Winston-Salem Journal, from an article titled, “Reading Out the Sad End of Summer.”
Spider Stevens has accepted next-door neighbor Trey Cooper’s eccentricities since they began playing together in preschool. But now that fifth grade is here, Trey’s odd behavior embarrasses Spider, who suggests to Trey that they hang out only at home.
Trey, who seems autistic, although this is never stated in the book, is thrown off-balance at Spider’s suggestion that he make some new friends. However, Trey bravely tries to expand his horizons. This would make a fabulous read-aloud for elementary classrooms. Both Spider’s and Trey’s viewpoints are conveyed well, providing an excellent springboard for discussion on compassion and true friendship.
I’m grateful for the point made in that last sentence, because I do feel this is a “talking book,” one that in the hands of a good teacher could be a source of lively discussion in the classroom.