Labor Day

Labor Day

by Joyce Maynard

Arlene Almas: Thirteen-year-old Henry lives with and serves as caretaker and enabler for his mother, Adele, who finds it difficult to leave their house to take care of everyday needs (she stays in the car while Henry does the shopping and banking; they live on non-perishable and frozen food). One day, Adele unexpectedly allows an injured escaped convict named Frank whom Henry has befriended to come home with them and stay with them while he heals. Frank is a competent and kind man who over the course of a few days gradually breaks Henry and Adele out of their shells, and eventually tells Henry the truth of the events which led to his incarceration. This is a compassionately written story of love as witnessed by a young adolescent who has a sensitivity and understanding beyond that of many people older than himself. I recommend it highly. Rating: ****

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