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The Most Important Thing: Stories about…
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The Most Important Thing: Stories about Sons, Fathers, and Grandfathers

by Avi

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THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: STORIES ABOUT SONS, FATHERS, AND GRANDFATHERS by Avi shares seven short stories exploring the complicated emotions experienced by boys and their dads.

From a boy meeting his grandfather for the first time to a child interviewing potential stepfathers, each story explores a different aspect of interpersonal relationships. While some stories focus on bullying, abandonment, abuse, and neglect, others explore acceptance, compassion, and discovery.

Librarians will find that these stories provide a nice introduction to Avi’s writing for young readers. Work with teachers to build short stories into a literature circle activities focusing on family relationships.

To learn more about the author, go to http://www.avi-writer.com/.

Published April 26, 2016 by Candlewick. ARC courtesy of the publisher. ( )
  eduscapes | Jun 7, 2016 |
Avi has been a beloved storyteller for…a long time now. This collection of short stories revolves around the complicated relationships between fathers and sons. I enjoyed how he presents a range of relationships of varying degrees of closeness and understanding.

Being fairly short stories—I read the whole book in about 90 minutes, they don’t have long or complex plot development. Some of them even have an open-ended finish, leaving it up to the reader to interpret what might happen to the characters.

None of the stories is particularly gripping or exciting, so this might not be the book for reluctant readers, but it is a definite option for those who like interesting, complex characters.

Possible Objectionable Material:
Broken families, theft, fighting, PTSD.

Who Might Like This Book:
Although it reads as being primarily for boys, there’s no real reason that girls wouldn’t enjoy it, too. There are elements of parental relationships that are universal, regardless of gender, and there are strong mothers in several of the stories. The suggested age range seems appropriate.

This review is also posted at http://biblioquacious.blogspot.com/2016/04/fathers-sons-and-grandsons.html

Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC. ( )
  swingdancefan | Apr 19, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763681113, Hardcover)

One of the most beloved writers of our time presents seven short stories exploring the vital ties between fathers and sons.

Luke sees the ghost of his father but can’t figure out what Dad wants him to do. Paul takes a camping trip with the grandfather he’s just met and discovers what lies behind the man’s erratic behavior. Ryan has some surprising questions when he interviews his prospective stepfather for the job. In a compellingly honest collection of stories, multiple-award-winning author Avi introduces seven boys — boys with fathers at home and boys whose fathers have left, boys who spend most of their time with their grandfathers and boys who would rather spend time with anyone but the men in their lives. By turns heartbreaking, hopeful, and funny, the stories show us boys seeking acceptance, guidance, or just someone to look up to. Each one shines a different light on the question "What is the most important thing a father can do for his son?"

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 25 Feb 2016 08:33:57 -0500)

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