In Honor of Broken Things

Dial. Mar. 2022. 208p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781984816641.
Gr 3-7–Oscar’s, Riley’s, and Noah’s lives intersect when they meet in their Introduction to Clay class at West Beacon Junior/Senior High School. Each teen is learning to navigate junior high while also coping with personal struggles. Oscar faces the trauma of losing his sister to cancer. Noah’s parents are divorcing, and he is just starting public school after years of homeschooling. Riley has recently moved to West Beacon, her mom’s small hometown, after a robbery at her mother’s workplace in Philadelphia. This book is a solid story of friendship that grows between the three teens, all of whom need a strong foundation in a world of upheaval. Riley, Noah, and Oscar learn that friendship means showing up and being reliable. The characters are multidimensional and compelling, and the plot includes some unexpected turns as the friends find that some wounds may not heal. Despite these twists, the book has a hopeful ending, leaving readers eager to learn more about the characters.
VERDICT A multifaceted, realistic fiction tale that connects the pottery the students are creating to what’s going on in their lives using metaphors of art and life.

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