I’m not very good at reviewing books that are written as beautifully as Ursu’s The Real Boy. My expertise is not in writing fancy reviews. I enjoy reading fancy reviews, but I don’t know how to write them.
Something that I am pretty good at is identifying when a book has “it”. In my opinion The Real Boy has “it”. By “it” I mean that this book is special. The Real Boy doesn’t feel like a book that we’ll just be talking about this fall, or a book that our kids will read for the next few years. To me, The Real Boy feels like one of those books that we will always be talking about and kids will always be reading. When I was reading The Real Boy I had that same feeling in my gut that I had when I first read The One and Only Ivan, Holes, The Tale of Despereaux, and When You Reach Me.
What do those books have in common? The obvious answer is the Newbery Medal sits atop their covers. The less obvious answer is that the first time I read each one of those books they felt timeless. They felt like a book that will never go out of style.
It is super hard for me to not get wrapped up in why I think The Real Boy will be honored by the Newbery Committee. We have plenty of time to debate that at the end of the year. For now, I’ll just say that The Real Boy is a book that I will never forget reading for the first time.
A review copy of The Real Boy was provided by the publisher. I hope they are okay with me reviewing the book months before it comes out. I just NEEDED to share my thoughts on this remarkable book.