It seems appropriate. Since, this is a book about unexpected connections. About sitting in the back seat of a taxi, staring at the mole on someone’s neck and suggesting the driver see a doctor, all of which leads to removing a cancerous growth that leads to wondering what other lives could be lived. And living them.
It’s about transferring seeds from a wet paper towel to a plastic cup to a pot of soil to the earth. It’s about one young girl whose life is suddenly swept into sudden motion, at a time when her interpretation of the world wants to go silent, still, by the death of her parents.
I love books that transcend labels and age grades and this book does. It is skillfully narrated by a 12 year old genius, then interrupted by a sometimes omniscient narrator telling the stories of a taxi driver, a lazy school counselor, a Vietnamese owner of a nail salon, her determined daughter and her underachiever son.
I like that it trusts young readers to understand. And I like that it allows ‘older’ readers to remember that feeling, you know, this one (I wish that I were old enough to just go live in the Amazon and study plants there, because it’s possible that one of them holds the key to the cure for cancer. But the obstacles are insurmountable. I don’t even have a passport.)