Small Moments of Joy by Jenn Bishop
For a brief moment, as I lie on the guest bed alongside my cat, a sunbeam catching each and every one of her glorious white furs, it disappears. The noise, the fear and anxiety, the static in my head that has been buzzing louder and louder every moment since “coronavirus” went from being a word I read in a newspaper article a few months ago to the only word now.
Things You Can’t Say is set over the course of one summer in Rhode Island, where Drew has lived his whole life. He spends his weekdays in the children’s room of the public library where he volunteers, helping with story hour and other odds and ends. It’s helped him cope, this routine. Knowing his mom, a librarian, is just upstairs at the reference desk. But when Phil, an old friend of the family he’d never met before, passes through town on a cross-country motorcycle trip and stays a few days with his family, Drew becomes unsettled. He starts reading into his awkward conversations with Phil and has an epiphany just as Phil’s skipping out of town. Could Phil be his “real” father?
Jenn Bishop is a former children’s librarian and the author of Things You Can’t Say, 14 Hollow Road, and The Distance to Home. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, but would love to Skype or Zoom or Google Hangout with your class, wherever you are. You can find Jenn online at www.jennbishop.com or @buffalojenn on Twitter.