Are you impatient to talk to Mia yourself? We have just unearthed a previously classified document from her files with her permission. She encourages you to write her back, as she remains unsure of how to proceed.
I just love writing that. I love writing “Dear Reader.” Okay, so you know how I’m always looking for books that think you would like? If you liked one book about a dragon, I look for other books about dragons. If you liked one book about lunch, I look for other books about lunch. Well, I did something that took me out of my own comfort zone: I picked up a book I thought was about lunch, but it wasn’t. In fact, I got a few pages in and I realized I probably wouldn’t have picked up this book if it hadn’t been for the title.
I’ve been reading historical fiction, specifically a book called Lunch-Box Dream by Tony Abbott. I’m not going to lie. I picked up this book because I was hungry, but I found out it has very little to do with lunch, let alone lunch boxes. It takes place in summer, 1959, and this kid Bobby is on a trip to visit American Civil War battlefields with his mom, his older brother, and a recently widowed grandmother, and all of this freaked me out because I hate the idea of war, and thinking about death makes me really sad. So these subjects are new to me, and a little scary.
New things can be difficult for me to understand because, well…they’re new. You know what I mean? It’s so much easier for me to think about things like talking bunnies, things that aren’t real, stuff that didn’t actually happen. They don’t feel dangerous to me the same way. True, Lunch-Box Dream is fiction, but it deals with things that did happen, and things that do happen.What’s more, to add to my sense of being thrown off, this story is told differently than other books I’ve read. Bobby is not comfortable around “chocolate colored” people, which I don’t understand, or death, which I kind of do understand, so on this trip he is taking from Ohio to Florida it’s new and difficult for him, which I totally understand.
Now, this is where things get even more new for me. Along with Bobby’s perspective in the book is the story of an African-American family in Georgia. It’s told from a whole bunch of what I call “first-person” viewpoints. To have a better understanding of not just the story, but also the storytelling technique that the author, used, I’ve decided to write a letter to Bobby. Yes, I know Bobby isn’t real, but I think it will help me understand some of these things that make me uncomfortable a little better. I was wondering if you could help me. My letter starts like this:
—Now, what else should I say?