When I brought home Nancy Hartry's Watching Jimmy (Tundra, 2009), my nine-year-old pounced on it before I could crack open the cover. We agreed to share the novel as a bedtime read-aloud. That worked well, although my daughter wanted to keep reading all night.
In the novel, 11-year-old Carolyn guards an uncomfortable secret about the reason for her next door neighbour's brain damage. The novel's 1958 setting encouraged mother-daughter discussion about terms like "galoshes" and concepts like "washing your mouth out with soap", (seen as horrifically hilarious) and even the beginnings of Canada's health care system. Nancy Hartry's writing is seemingly effortless, powerful and moving. I ended up in tears with my daughter stroking my back. Four thumbs up--two big and two small.