by Chris Fuhrman
I've mentioned this book in a Top 10 Tuesday post of mine, and it probably is my most beloved of all books. I re-read it at least once a year, and in the 9 years since I first picked up my copy, the story has never tarnished, or bored me or reduced me any less to tears. The story takes place in the 1970s and follows a gang of misfits in their last days before separating to go to different highschools. While they're troubled by the typical problems a 12 year old faces, love, lust, parents and school they're different from their class mates, as they're an unbelievably talentsed group of artists who use that medium to question the deeper and more existential problems of religion, power, and humanity.
Everyone on Goodreads summarises the story much better than I do, I think i'm too emotionally invested to be able to look at it simply! I picked this book up of the bookstore's shelf while I waited for my mum to pick up some christmas presents for my grandparents and I read the first chapter. At the same age as the boys in the story it resonated deeply for me so I begged my mum to buy that as one of my christmas presents. Now it is tattered, and bent and stained (with both food and tears) but takes pride of place on my bookshelf. It is one of those books I will never throw out, it is more than just a book for me, more than a wonderful story, it is a chapter in my childhood and one of the books that acted as a stepping stone for my desire to read and question and learn.
It is the best coming of age story I've ever read and I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone. I'm yet to meet any one (of any age) who reads it and who doesn't fall in love with it as I did.