You know how it is when you read a really, really good book?
You love it soooo much, that you want everyone you know to read it & love it too.
But you don't want to give away too much of the storyline, because you want everyone to discover it with the same fresh innocence as yourself.
Therefore, I'm only going to tell you that this wonderful, gut-wrenching, beautiful story is about apple tarts and hope.
It is about Meg and Oscar.
It's also about truth and lies, friendship and bullying, manipulation and trust.
It has been a very long time since a book had my gut all twisted up with anguish and anger. It has been a very long time since a book has made me want to scream out at the characters "Watch Out! Beware!", to scream out the secret, to reveal the dastardly deed, to save them!
The saving grace that makes all this despair worthwhile is Fitzgerald's upholding of Kate DiCamillo's belief that all writers for children are ultimately, duty-bound to finish with hope.
The Apple Tart of Hope deals with some tough issues (depression, suicide & emotionally manipulative bullying) but it does so in a gentle, insightful way.
I will be recommending it to 13+ readers simply because of these mature issues.
Very mature 11+ readers who love their books to have an emotional roller-coaster edge could manage this though.
I love a book that makes me feel so deeply & care so much about the characters. I love being dragged through an emotional wringer. I also enjoy coming out the other side with a smile on my face.
I always have & I always will.
This is one of those books.