The other day when I answered the question about a book that made my cry, my first thought was which book doesn’t make me cry? I’m a teacher. By nature I find books that I feel are achingly beautiful and have something to convey that’s a bit more than your average Junie B. Jones, Goose Bumps, or Harry Potter. Things that you didn’t know were there until the book uncovered that small part of your soul, exposing it and your vulnerabilities to a room full of kids.
In no particular order, and by no means complete, are the books that made me cry. Whenever possible, I have tried to give an explanation; although, sometimes even I don’t know why I’m crying.
Out of the Dust: You’d think it’s when the mother dies, and I do tear up then. However, it’s the mother bathing in the rain that first does it, then Billie Jo’s admission that she can’t forgive her father. Those kill me because those emotions are real and raw.
A Long Way From Chicago: At the end of the book, the protagonist is heading off to war. His Grandmother Dowdel turns on every light in her house so it will be illuminated as the train passes by. Nothing says I love you more than I want to make sure you know I am seeing you off to war. This was a woman who had nothing so electricity would have been expensive.
Charlotte’s Web: Her passing at the end does me in, as does the statement that she was a true friend and a good writer. This is what I ascribe to be in life.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane: I hated this book so much. He was such a hateful, entitled character, who gets to come back and all is forgiven. It crushed my soul. I don’t feel he was redeemed or that he ever deserved the little girl’s love.
Ender’s Game: I don’t even know why, but I just sit and bawl. Maybe it’s a release from the stress the character feels.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon: It’s just beautiful. It’s so full of hope and change.