Book DescriptionWhen you die, your spirit wakes in the
north, in the City of the Dead. There, you wander the cold
until one of your living loved ones finds you, says
"Goodbye," and Sends you to the next world.
After her parents die, 12-year-old Sophie refuses to
release their spirits. Instead, she resolves to travel to the
City of the Dead to bring her mother and father’s spirits
back home with her.
Taking the long pilgrimage north with her gruff & distant
grandmother—by train, by foot, by boat; over ruined
mountains and plains and oceans—Sophie struggles to
return what death stole from her. Yet the journey offers
her many hard, unexpected lessons—what to hold on to,
when to let go, and who she must truly bring back to life.
It isn't often that I actually really get into the books my kids are reading (oops, did I just say that?), but once in a while we come across a really great read and none of us ever want to put it down. The Girl who came back To Life is one of those books for me - I just wanted to keep reading.
The story is told in a really interesting way - first of all, it's written in acts instead of regular chapters, which sort of makes you feel like you're watching a movie. It's a narrated story in the third person, but you feel as though you are inside the main character, Sophie's, head. You feel her thoughts, see what she sees, and sense her emotions, all through the eyes of a kid trying t cope with the death of her parents. I especially found the ending to be really emotional - there may have been some tears!
Needless to say it isn't a 'light' book - it deals with death, the death of her parents no less. I've read many books with my son that have dealt with death however. He has gotten pretty emotional about some characters in the stories not making it to the end, but I think that's important!. It not only opens up discussions about life, faith and even health, but is a great way to get your child's perspective on life - do they lean more to the negative or the positive? It also prepares them not only for dealing with people dying, but other disappointments in life as well.
The story itself was really nice too and focuses a lot on family, hard work and growing up - great things for tweens/teens to read about.
I haven't read it over with my son yet - we're already reading 4 books for homeschooling right now, but definitely intend to later this year. I loved the fairytale and it will definitely be staying on the prized position of our bookshelf in the living room with all our favorites.
Craig Staufenberg is a writer and
filmmaker living in NYC.
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