IN HONOR OF BROKEN THINGS, by Paul Acampora, Dial Books, March 8, 2022, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 8-12)
Pottery class becomes something more than an elective in Paul Acampora’s fantastic new middle-grade novel, In Honor of Broken Things.
At West Beacon Middle School, eighth graders Oscar Villanueva, Ellie Baptiste, and Noah Wright become unlikely friends during Introduction to Clay class.
Oscar, a football star, just lost his little sister to cancer. Ellie’s been dragged away from Philadelphia by her single mom to a new life in West Beacon, a tiny Pennsylvania coal town that’s smaller than Ellie’s old school. Noah’s spent his whole life as a homeschooler and just started West Beacon Middle School as a result of his parents’ train wreck of a divorce.
Through art, football, failure, faith, and trust, the friends help one another to piece things back together again. In true friendship, they also discover that some injuries may never heal, some things can never be unbroken — and that’s okay too. —Synopsis provided by Dial Books
In Honor of Broken Things is hands-down one of my favorite middle-grade books this year. It has heart. It has humor. And it asks readers to look beyond themselves.
I was first introduced to Paul Acampora’s writing in his 2020 novel, Danny Constantino’s First (And Maybe Last?) Date. It was a breath of fresh air.
In Honor of Broken Things features the same comforting style. You immediately feel at ease in his world, and you just want to enjoy the ride.
And enjoy the ride you will.
In Honor of Broken Things feels almost like a letter to his readers, assuring them that like his characters, broken things can be beautiful.
Each of the characters are well-developed and feel as if they’re already your friends. The pacing is strong, and though Acampora tackles difficult topics, the book never feels preachy or too easy.
In Honor of Broken Things is a quick read that you’ll want to pick up more than once. I read an e-arc and plan on purchasing a copy of my own to share with my daughter when she’s old enough.
Copyright © 2022 Cracking the Cover. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.