Young Adult

Two Amazing Books by Sarah Crossan

There is someone who I need to add to this blog and that is Irish author Sarah Crossan. I just discovered her books a few weeks ago and quickly flew through two of them. I’ve never seen anyone tackle heavy subjects like she does, and with such a deft combination of pathos and wit. And, even though her books are marketed for Young Adults, I highly recommend them for older readers as well.

The first I read is One, the story of conjoined twins Tippi and Grace. As we follow the sisters, we learn about what is required when two people share parts of a human body. Each movement of every day necessitates coordination, patience, and compromise. Grace, the physically weaker of the twins, is the dominant narrator, which I found to be a very interesting choice by the author. Once we get to know these two girls, however, it makes more sense. Grace is quiet and observant, even passive, while Tippi is fearless and vibrant. Now teenagers, the girls have proven everyone wrong in how long they’ve lived. Unfortunately, a crucial decision must be made, demonstrating Grace and Tippi’s emotional connection transcends even their physical bond. This is a story that will carve a place in your heart. The characters are fascinating, as is Sarah Crossan’s unique writing style. 9/10 Stars

Next I read Moonrise, (sometimes marketed as The Moon Brothers) a completely different story but just as touching. This novel deals with the controversial topic of capital punishment. The youngest of three children in an extremely dysfunctional family, seventeen year old Joe Moon makes the brave decision to travel alone to Texas to visit his older brother, Ed, who awaits execution on Death Row. After a ten year separation and numerous reminders from others that it’s best to cut Ed out of his life, Joe focuses on the kindness and protection his brother always showed him. Over several weeks, with Joe set up in a dingy apartment near the prison, the two brothers reunite and reminisce. Meanwhile, the end looms over them like an ominous cloud. I found this book absolutely gripping and like nothing I’ve ever read before. It’s a slice of life I hope most of us will never see. 9.5/10 Stars

I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I could’ve handled these books when I was a youth. Maybe, but only maybe. Certainly my perspective would’ve been different without the years of living I’ve known since then, but it isn’t like the experiences in each novel have been remotely on my radar. Interestingly, though, I don’t think we are meant to relate to any of these main characters. How could we? Instead, we are taught compassion and acceptance through the examples of characters more heroic than they’ll ever know. In the midst of their suffering, these young people exemplify courage and grace beyond their years.

I implore any reader who seeks a very special literary experience to read both of these books.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s