"After Eli" is a fun, humorous, and enlightening novel not just for young readers but readers of all ages. Daniel Anderson's tumultuous journey of acceptance and emotional rejuvenation after the death of his older brother Eli in Iraq is a story that will make even the most rigid reader tearful. Rupp's honest portrayal of a teenage boy dealing with the cruelty of his emotionally unavailable father and his equally distant mother will touch your heart. Filled with colorful and captivating characters and situations, "After Eli" is sure to be a modern classic.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
"After Eli" is the first-person account of a fourteen year-old high school freshman whose life and family crumbles after the death of his older brother Eli when Daniel was younger. Taking place during the summer after his first year of high school, Daniel divulges his experiences with vivid detail and worldly knowledge. Along the way he makes a new friend named Walter- a young man who is an outcast at school and has the intellectual capacity of Albert Einstein and the philosophical nature of Plato, whom he greatly admires. Daniel also comes across two eccentric, curious, and sometimes annoying twins named Jasper and Journey who are the siblings of Isabelle- a doe-eyed beauty from New York City who not only brings an urban finesse into Daniel's small-town world, but steals his heart as well. With his Book of the Dead and his new friends to guide him, Daniel embarks on an adventure that will change his outlook on life and death forever.
WHO IS IT FOR?
This book is for any teen who has endured the loss of a beloved family member or friend. Daniel's exploration for acceptance is a story that any teen can find relatable. The primary themes of the novel are acceptance, dealing with insecurities, volatile family relationships, coming to terms with the inevitable nature of death and, of course, discovering summer love. To those of you who aren't fans of profanity in novels, this book isn't for you. It has its share of a few choice words here and there, but this is only to bring to life the gripping, harsh reality that young Daniel faces. The characters in Rupp's novel are real people with real sensibilities, and so they express their feelings and thoughts in ways that are replicated in everyday life.
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS?
I would definitely recommend this book. It is a great summer and back-to-school read that will catapult any avid young reader into Daniel's world.
Disclaimer: Candlewick Press provided this review copy of "After Eli" to me free of charge.
Click on the link below to purchase the book at Amazon.com.