Parents' Guide to

Because You'll Never Meet Me

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Sweet friendship tale of isolated teen boy pen pals.

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Kids say (4 ):

BECAUSE YOU'LL NEVER MEET ME is a sweet, epistolary novel of two boys who are opposite in every way but find common ground in their humanity. The fun in the novel comes from the boys' opposite personalities. American Ollie must live in a cabin in the Michigan woods, far from any electricity. He has boundless energy and optimism and longs to know more about the world. German Moritz lives in a bustling city and is far more reserved and despondent about life, having been at the receiving end of horrified reactions and bullying because he was born with no eyes. The best part is learning more about Ollie's and Moritz's lives and struggles as they endure hardships and loss. Their pen-pal relationship goes through its ups and downs, but it deepens and strengthens as the letters they exchange show them growing and learning from one another.

The book moves slowly until the halfway point, when the story starts to pick up. Though the characters are interesting and well drawn, the situation with the boys' health feels contrived. The story takes a weird, fantastical turn toward the end that seems to come out of nowhere. If that part of the story had been interwoven into the earlier part of the book, the novel would have been more compelling overall.

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