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What's the story?
"Spoon Gilmore's grandmother had been dead for two months when he realized he wanted something special of hers to keep." So begins this gentle little story about a warm-hearted boy coming to terms with the death of a beloved member of his family. But Spoon isn't alone in his grief; his grandfather is changing before his eyes. When Spoon impulsively takes his grandmother's favorite deck of cards to remember her, his grandfather soon notices its absence, and Spoon doesn't know what to do. But giving them back turns out to be just the first step in finding what he was looking for.
Is it any good?
This delicate, poignant story is enriched by delightful characters. There's Spoon's eccentric, poetic little sister Joanie, who carries branches around in a suitcase and calls them tree bones; his tender, grieving grandfather; and Spoon himself, deeply thoughtful and caring, afraid that his memories of his grandmother are fading. Kevin Henkes shows his mastery here, making this simple story affecting without sentimentality, and compelling without contrived dramatics. A small masterpiece.