THE MOST IMPORTANT THING by Avi
Kirkus Star

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING

Stories About Sons, Fathers, and Grandfathers
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Multiaward-winning author Avi asks as an epigraph, “What’s the most important thing you can do for your son?”

Through seven short stories, he examines the troubled, touching, fractured, burgeoning, and beautiful relationships of seven different young men and their fathers, grandfathers, and, on the periphery, their mothers. There’s Paul, who begins to understand his distant father only after being forced into a weekend with an estranged (and strange) grandfather. There’s the paranormal insistence of Luke’s dead father on spending one last moment with his mourning son. There’s the heartfelt involvement of Ryan in his mother’s acceptance of a marriage proposal. But this isn’t a collection of golden-delicious Norman Rockwell–style optimism. A macho father is ashamed of his passive son, a know-it-all annoying grandfather frustrates his grandson, and an absent father has abandoned his family completely. Avi’s septuplet of stories suggests that the best thing you can do for your son might just be to hope you’ve somehow given him the tools to evolve into an adult who will love and understand you on the other side. Though this is tuned to the XY frequency, don’t discount it as a book for daughters who value such beautiful prose as “Now, snow drifting down, slowly, steadily, each flake the ghost of a leaf.”

What Oedipus didn’t know about the intricacies of father/son kinship could fill a book—and has. (Short stories. 10 & up)

Pub Date: April 26th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-7636-8111-1
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2016




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