I have to admit, I read this amazing book a few months ago – but I can’t stop talking about it. I just bought two additional copies for my classroom because I want EVERYONE to read it. I can’t wait until I have enough clout as a teacher to teach books of my choosing, because I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson is a MUST READ for every teen I can think of.
This beautiful book is told from alternating points of view – and alternating – but converging – timelines. NoahandJude are twins – and best friends – inseparable. Until…
Noah’s chapters tell us the early part of the story, the build up to The Event that changes everything. Jude’s chapters reveal the aftermath. The two stories slowly come together to find each other back in the middle, where the siblings are able to re-examine their stories, assumptions, and reactions and take a chance on remaking their world.
Noah and Jude are both artists. Noah is introverted, a doodler and drawer, and falling in love with the boy next door. Jude is a sculptor, outgoing, a daredevil, and falling for the Bad Boy. As we watch the rift between them grow, we also feel the tug of the connection that binds them. How long can it hold against the onslaught of anger, resentment, doubt, guilt and unspoken words?
As each character moves forward, the other gets pushed away, like two polarized magnets chasing each other across a table. When one reaches, the other recoils. When one lunges, the other jumps. I read this book anxiously, on the edge of my seat, unable to put it down until I’d made it to the end, until I learned whether or not either character was able to flip back to their original position and re-forge the connection before it snapped forever.
This book kept me up over night. It’s not a fast paced thrill ride, it’s a beautifully written tale of love and loss, sibling rivalry, the forces that tear us apart, and the ones that bring us home.
I cannot recommend this book enough. It is high on my “compulsive buying” list so that I will never be without a spare copy to loan or gift to a teen who needs to be reminded that “all the darkness in the world cannot put out the light of one small candle.” (St. Francis of Assisi)