Haley Saffren ‘20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
It is that time of the year for flowers to bloom, birds to sing, and windows to open and let in the sunshine, warm breezes, and overall air of positivity. That’s right, it’s spring! Everyone seems undeniably happier during spring than during any other time of the year. Warmer weather and the birth of natural color everywhere feels like a chance for a new beginning, a fresh start, a new life. To enhance these springtime feelings, try one of these great books that play on the notions of rebirth and new beginnings.
Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis
This nonfiction book revolves around events that actually happened to Katie Davis. Katie is an average American young woman with a positive future and a firm belief in God. All of that changes when she goes on a trip to Uganda. Katie is unable to forget the loving community she experiences in Uganda even though the country is downtrodden with many struggles including extensive homelessness and debilitating hunger due to lack of food.
The story follows Katie through her cozy American lifestyle, the compassion she develops for the people of Uganda, her decision to uproot her life and join the Ugandan community, and the results of settling in her new home. Katie’s unshakable faith in God keeps her sane through her difficult transition and contributes to her strength and will to find a way to provide necessities of life to her new community. She even ends up adopting thirteen kids. Katie’s story is inspiring because she not only finds a new community and family, she also discovers that her purpose in life is to help her new Ugandan community learn to thrive.
The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis
The other nonfiction story revolves around the famous football player, Michael Oher. Michael is a young black male who is a gifted athlete but is struggling in his home life and in school. This true story tells of the unique situation surrounding his adoption by the Tuohy family who love and accept him as their own. Michael’s new life provides him with food, shelter, love, compassion, and a path to a career as a professional football player. The new beginnings in this novel are tied to Michael’s new life and family. The members of the Tuohy family unexpectedly experience their own reawakening when Michael joins their family. It is an uplifting and heartfelt rising-from-the-ashes story.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Time for some fiction! This book follows a man named Ove who appears to be a bitter loner to his community. When new neighbors move in next door and get to know Ove, it becomes clear that he is a good man going through the biggest tragedy of his life. He begins to form a new family for himself and becomes less of a loner in the process. A Man Called Ove reveals that, even in old age, people can experience a fresh start; a rebirth. Heartache is laced through the story but only serves to make the end of the journey more worthwhile and rewarding. Overall, it is a feel-good novel.
Reality Boy by A.S. King
Photo Credit: GoodreadsOf all the books on this list, Reality Boy provides the most angst. Gerald is a boy with severe anger issues who is trying to learn to control his temper. This becomes increasingly difficult when his family pays a famous TV nanny to help sort through their issues, and Gerald is portrayed as the bad child. As the novel progresses, it is revealed that Gerald is a lonely kid who is stuck in a toxic family that includes a psychotic sister who constantly abuses him, a mother who favors this sister, and a father who is a mere bystander. The fresh start in this novel does not come until the end of a difficult journey, but the story does a lovely job of following Gerald on his path to a new and better life. Reality Boy is much more intense than the others but well worth the ride.
All the books on this list are amazing reads for different reasons. While none are about springtime per se, they all offer a metaphorical look at a warm and rich blossoming of new life after a harsh and difficult winter.