I am in love with the book This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy Cavanaugh for many reasons: the nifty cover, the cool format, the connection I made to Ratchet (I could go on and on). Bottom line: I cannot imagine a middle grade classroom or library where this book wouldn’t be popular.
I read This Journal Belongs to Ratchet on the plane to IRA. Sitting next to an elderly man with a cowboy hat, I cried, and cried, and cried my way through Ms. Cavanaugh’s book. In some ways I was Ratchet as a kid. No, my mom didn’t die, and I wasn’t home-schooled, but my father was a lot like Ratchet’s father. You see, my dad was different. He didn’t go to work each day in a fancy suit, he didn’t drive an SUV, and he surely didn’t feel the need to be politically correct. My dad spend most weekdays of my childhood driving across the country as a truck driver. He drove an old beat up motorcycle, and he was always looking to start a good debate.
Reading about Ratchet’s dad took me back to my childhood. Unlike Ratchet, I never worried about my dad being different from the other dads. I worshiped him, I still do.
I think that what I was routing for throughout the whole book was for Ratchet to see in her father what I see in mine.
I’m thinking that there might be a few middle grade readers in your life that need to see that their parents might be a little more awesome than they give them credit for.