When I first picked up Saving Wonder, I had my doubts. I had gotten it for free at the NCTE conference earlier this year. It didn’t quite seem like something I would normally pick up, but I was intrigued with the theme of environmental responsibility. This genre is not up my alley.
With some reluctance, I picked up the book. In the second paragraph of reading, I came across my favorite word: lackadaisical. From that moment on, the book and I bonded.
Curley, the main character lives in Appalachian Mountains by Wonder Gap Kentucky. He lost his father in a mining accident, and his brother and mother in a mud sliding accident at the hands of the coal company. It is just him and his grandfather.
Every week, Curley’s Pawpaw gives him a new word to learn and put into practice. He wants Curley to be able to break the cycle and leave Wonder Gap, even though Curley has no intention of moving from the land he loves.
Curley and his only friend, Jules try and make sense of the world together. However, when a new owner comes to take over the coal mine, Curley begins to lose the girl and the land he loves.
He is forced to make a choice; speak up and risk the security of his way of life, or stay quiet and lose the land he loves.
I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. Here is the safest, spoiler free review I can muster. I promise, read the book. It will be worth your time.