Dear Barbara Park,
It is never easy to let go of someone you love. Although I never lost someone close to me, I have seen many others lose friends, siblings, and parents.
I have a brother who is five years older than I, and when I read your book, Mick Harte was Here, I couldn't help but put myself in Phoebe's shoes. I felt as though my brother had just died too. For so many days it was hard to get the depressed feeling off my shoulders. I kept trying to tell myself, "It is just a story," but it isn't. There are a great number of kids in the world who lose their moms, dads, sisters, brothers, cousins, grandpas, grandmas, aunts, and uncles every day.
When my teacher told us that we were going to be doing a writing assignment on a book that has changed our lives, I immediately thought of this book. I'm currently in 8th grade and I read this book in 4th grade, but there was something that has stuck with me for the last four years. Over the course of the last five years, four people in my class have lost one of their parents; I wonder how they can do it. They must be stronger than I, because I don't know how I could go on.
I picked up this book for the second time in my life when my teacher told us about this contest, and when I read through it again, I realized this book wasn't supposed to scare me and make me feel sad, it was about how all of us have to cope with the curve balls that life throws at us.
Death is unpredictable, that's a fact; there isn't anything we can do about it, except to take advantage of the time we have with our families and friends.
In this book, I realized that friends weren't put on this earth so that we have someone to go to a movie with, or someone to sit in a basement playing Xbox, they are here to help us through all of the tough situations that all of our lives will be filled with. Most of all, friends are there to pick us up when we fall. They are there to keep us going when we are about ready to give up
In this book, Phoebe has a friend, Zoe, who possesses all of these traits. Phoebe's friend was there for her when she needed a true friend the most. It's sad to think that some people will go through life without a friend like Phoebe's. I think of friends as the foundation to a building. The building may look flawless, but at the first sign of a storm, the structure comes crumbling down into one big heap of broken supports systems and sharp shards of glass.
I think it would be good for everyone to read your book. It would make people stop taking life for granted. Life is a precious gift, and unfortunately, many people go through life thinking that it is something that is owed to them.
I've learned that there are so many unexpected things that life will throw at you, good and bad. This book was practically yelling at me, "Go! Live life to the fullest, spend your time with the people you love, for one day it will all be over and all me will have left are the memories of the good and bad times you had with your friends and families."