Room, by Emma Donaghue (2010)

Genre: Contemporary
Interest level: 16-Adult
Room Okay, let me begin by saying I fully expected to dislike this book, and didn’t think I’d finish it. But I was entranced from the first chapter, and finished in in less than a week on the bus. For those who don’t know this story, it opens with five-year-old Jack as narrator. He’s the son of a woman and the man who abducted in her late teens. They are both imprisoned in a soundproof locked room measuring three metres by three metres (eleven feet by eleven feet), though Jack doesn’t know he’s imprisoned, and knows nothing of the outside world. Donoghue deftly reveals to us his tiny, wonder-filled life as we learn about Room, Bed, Floor, Wall, Shelf and every item in Room. Jack’s opinions and thoughts shocked me, made me laugh, cry, and shudder. The book reveals both Jack and his mum to be astonishingly tough and painfully vulnerable. It’s a story that lasts long after you close the cover. I find myself sometimes wondering how Jack is doing today. The book was named runner-up for the CLA Young Adult Book of the Year. I was surprised it was even considered, actually, as it’s not your typical YA crossover book. But I can see the appeal it may have for teens, and I’m grateful for a book that made me find wonder in crayons and spiders.
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