Monday, January 9, 2017

All About Middle Grade Review: Ms. Bixby's Last Day

Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson, June 21, 2016. 320 pages. Published by Walden Pond Press. Source: publisher for review.
Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The good ones. The not-so-good ones. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard. The ones you’ll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. But Ms. Bixby is none of these. She’s the sort of teacher who makes you feel like the indignity of school is worthwhile. Who makes the idea of growing up less terrifying. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one of a kind.

Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she is very sick and won’t be able to finish the school year, they come up with a plan. Through the three very different stories they tell, we begin to understand just what Ms. Bixby means to Topher, Brand, and Steve—and what they are willing to go to such great lengths to tell her.
First Sentence
Rebecca Roudabush has cooties.

Ms. Bixby's Last Day was another review book that was mailed unsolicited to me made its way into my review stack. As it was written by an author who's writing I enjoy and published by a publishing house I'm quite fond of I decided to go into it blind (not reading the synopsis).

  • I don't even know where to begin with this one! It has been over a month since I read it and my heart is still not giving my brain coherent thoughts to put into words. Ms. Bixby's Last Day was an astounding read and John David Anderson really did a great job writing a book outside his usual style. This book does not disappoint!!
  • One of the things I mentally keep returning to, as I write this review, is how important it was for the trio to see Ms. Bixby one last time to tell her how she made a difference for them. From getting there to actually being able to say the words, it was one struggle after another for them. I  for one thought the author did one fantastic job as he captured so well the inner struggle that each of them faced at the decision point of the story! And MY HEART! TOO MANY FEELS!!
  • When it comes to themes of importance in middle grade, or really any age range of books, this was one of the two hat I thought handled it the best from last year. While the other one dealt with depression (very well  might add), this one so flawlessly spoke of the pains of facing the illness of someone, family or friend, and how hard that extra step to not run away from it is. I apologize, this review is a mess. Ms Bixby's Last Day was just such a well written and heartfelt book that no words will do it justice.  

Final Verdict: Ms. Bixby's Last DayPoignant and thoughtful! One of those rare books that touches your heart and gives you hope.

A copy of this book was received in consideration for review. All thoughts are my own.

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