You'll remember Finding Jake from our previous post and when it was chosen as the #6 LibraryReads pick for February. Now, to celebrate his book's birthday, author Bryan Reardon has stopped by to share a few words.
Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon tells the story of Jake Connolly and his father Simon. After a shooting at the local high school, seventeen-year-old Jake is missing. Worse, the authorities have identified him as a possible suspect. Simon embarks on a journey not only to find his son, but to find out who his son really is. Although not included in the book, this school paper, written by Jake in the seventh grade, may hold a clue:
If I Was an Animal
By Jake Connolly
It's funny. If I think about it, I can guess which animal most everyone else in class will write about. I know who the lions are. I think there will be one or two cheetahs. Everyone knows a certain class president will probably pick the eagle. But after hours of thinking about it, I still can't decide which I am.
When I try to think of something, I keep remembering this one book I read in the fifth grade. I had to do a report so I went down to the school library. While I was wandering around, probably looking all confused, Mrs. Thomas came over. She was our librarian all through elementary school. She had this way of picking very specific books out for each kid.
Before I said anything, she nodded, like she'd just figured something out.
"Come here. I think I have a book that you'd really like to read."
Mrs. Thomas gave me Watership Down that day. I saw the rabbit on the cover and didn't love it right away.
"It's a great book, Jake. You have to be a strong reader to handle this. The language can be a little tricky. But the story… you'll love it. I'm sure."
Looking back, I think that was a challenge. I took that book and, no matter how hard it got sometimes, I finished every word and it stuck with me. Now I know why. See there was this rabbit, Fiver, who was always worried. He kept warning all the other rabbits, but some of them got annoyed and wouldn't listen. It drove him crazy, because he cared about the other rabbits so much, and he knew they were in danger. It totally reminded me of my dad. I used to think he worried about me all the time. It used to annoy me. But I get it now. See, it's just that his worry is his love for me and my sister.
So, my dad would be a rabbit. The problem is that's not what I'm supposed to be writing about. I'm sure I'll get a bad grade for this since I'm not really answering the question. But if my dad is a rabbit, and I figured that out by reading a book, then maybe I'm just a bookworm.
Thank you, Bryan and Jake! To learn more about Jake and his father's story, you can check out an excerpt of Finding Jake here. And when that's not enough (worry not!), Finding Jake is on sale today!