Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Graduation of Jake Moon

I was in my 30s and living in another country when my grandmother got Alzheimer's disease, but it was still awful to see the vague confusion on her face when she tried to figure out what was happening. This experience stuck in my mind as I read The Graduation of Jake Moon, about an eighth grader whose grandfather is slipping away to the disease.

During middle school, the last thing anyone wants is extra attention, so the embarrassing incidents that come along with the disease are devastating to Jake. He withdraws from his friends and his school so that nobody can make fun of him. But such a serious disease can only be hidden away for so long.

I ended this novel in tears because there really aren't many happy endings with Alzheimer's. Still, I feel like Jake grew as a character throughout the novel and the reader will, too. This slim volume will appeal to readers who like "issue" books, but is also perfect to hand to a student who may be in a similar situation.

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