"Spoon Gilmore's grandmother had been dead for two months when he realized that he wanted something special of hers to keep."
Spoon had loved his Gram and his grief is deep and personal. It is summer and his teachers parents are busy with their gardening, his older brother has gone to stay with Evie - his other grandmother in Oregon and so Spoon and his sister are spending their days together. Spoon really wants time alone to solve his problem - a special item to help him hold onto his Gram. A photo won't work but visiting his Pa he sees the special playing cards his Gram used when they all played together.
"Spoon had been dreaming about her since her death. Not frightening dreams. But dreams in which she would pass through a room quickly, or be sitting in a chair in a shadowy corner, watching. At first, the dreams were constant, every night, but they were growing less frequent. Spoon was loosing what little was left of her - his memories. He was afraid of forgetting her. That's why he wanted something of hers."
Taking the cards has unexpected consequences. Spoon needs to heal his own hurt but also the hurt he has caused others. I adore the name Spoon. You may have guessed there is a history to this name but you will need to read Sun and Spoon for yourself. Spoon's relationship with his sister Joanie is also very important and filled with special moments and wisdom. The voice of Spoon reminded me of another fabulous book by Kevin Henkes - The Year of Billy Miller which is a book I utterly adored. I have also included an alternate cover which I like better than the one in our collection. Here is a set of lesson plans for Sun and Spoon.
Sun and Spoon is a perfect book for a sensitive reader and it is a book I highly recommend. You might also enjoy Missing May. For a younger child this book also reminded me of Miss Lilly's Fabulous Pink Feather Boa and Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge.
Henkes deftly delineates characters and relationships with brief conversations and small personal or family rituals, folds in motifs--hands, the sun--to give the plot a pleasing rhythm, and consistently finds the perfect words to evoke each moment's sometimes-complex feelings.