As part of my Post-K Summer Reading Boot Camp:
When I saw the cover, I was not excited to see what was inside because the illustration was terrible. Why is the city all coated in an orange dust like the post-apocalyptic world of WALL-E?
Though I know boys often hero-worship other boys who happen to be charismatic (not merely polite to their parents), it just came across as creepy.
Then there were these quotes:
“Dad’s voice is like sharp fish bones in my hot chocolate.”
“I forget my mom and dad.
I think only about Jerome.”
“From now on, every day is for Jerome.”
“…feel protected by Jerome’s two eyes.”
And how does Jerome hide his eyes in his shoelaces?
Raphael talks about how Jerome doesn’t play rough. Isn’t it normal for boys to roughhouse rather than hold hands? Girls hold hands, boys roughhouse.
His mom concedes that Jerome is charming, but that’s not good enough for Raphael; he’s upset that she doesn’t seem to notice how warm his smile is.
Raphael’s parents sounded like they were sick of hearing about Jerome (other goodreads reviewers mentioned that Jerome may have been imaginary, which I don’t doubt), probably because they believed their son was obsessed with him. Their son comes across as the kind of boy who, when he gets older, will kill his parents so he can be with Jerome.
This book was not a sweet story of friendship but of one boy consumed with another. Jerome has other friends but Raphael doesn’t seem to. A lot of children have best friends, but this took it to a whole new level.
I generally come up with a suggested, coordinating activity, but I never want to see this book again. I’ve tried finding an appropriate book on friendship between boys but so many of the books on friendship are about animals or use inanimate objects as the main characters, so I am open to suggestions.