19 October 2011

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Oskar Schell is unlike any nine-year-old you or I have ever encountered.  His business card lists countless of his specialties, interests, and skills.  But one thing that he doesn't have - which he desperately wants - is his father, who was killed in the September 11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks.  When he finds a key in a blue vase on the top shelf of his father's closet, he is determined to find out what the key unlocks, and hopefully come to terms with why his father had to leave him.  Along the way, he meets individuals who help him, make him laugh, frighten him. and ultimately propel him along on his journey.

Told from alternating perspectives, we also learn about the lives, heartbreaks, and sacrifices Oskar's grandparents, his father Thomas' parents.  Told with a beautiful talent and true emotional participation, the reader uncovers some of the mysteries encountered and growth accomplished on the varying journeys through grief. Recommended to all high school and adult readers.

Reviewed by kate the librarian.

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