The Whispers by Greg Howard is a juvenile fiction book best for 4-6th graders.
Eleven-year-old Riley believes in fairy creatures called whispers and that they can grant your hearts desire, if only you can find them and convince them to do so. More than anything Riley wants to find the whispers. If he could only find the whispers his crush might like him, he would stop being bullied at school, he would stop wetting the bed and most of all, he might find his mother.
Riley’s mom disappeared a few months ago and he is frustrated that no one has found her yet. Determined to do something. Riley and his best friend go on a camping trip to find the whispers and ask them to bring his mother home.
I really wanted to like this book. It’s actually one of those books that you feel bad if you didn’t like it. But, there was just something off about it and I can’t quite place my finger on the culprit. I liked the idea of a boy who believes in the stories his mother told him and I liked his journey to the truth. The ending almost hooked me and I found myself somewhat surprised, even if I suspected where we were going.
Actually, I think I sort of felt like I was being talked down to. For a book that the publisher recommends for 5-6th grade, the writing didn’t feel that way. Riley felt too young, even with the trauma he’s suffered. Serious content, but written younger, if that makes sense. I guess I could just say that I couldn’t get into the author’s writing style.
This is a coming of age novel, one that deals with a lot of serious topics, death, grief, and sexuality being a few. I think I will be the minority for this one but it just wasn’t for me. Ultimately, I liked where we ended up, but I didn’t necessarily like the journey. This one gets a mediocre 3 stars from me.
That’s all for now!