Today’s Road Trip Wednesday on YA Highway asks us to relate our favorite literary moment–a long-awaited kiss, a surprise ending, a character’s decision. As with all the prompts that ask for my “favorite,” I find it difficult to pick just one. The thing is, different books or moments are favorites for different reasons. One book can delight me because the heroine finally kisses the boy, another because she tore the head off her enemy (okay, maybe I’m not delighted in that latter case as much as gratified).
The first book that popped into my head while contemplating this prompt was Red Sky at Morning. I’m guessing many of you have never heard of it. Red Sky at Morning is a coming-of-age story published in 1968. It takes place during WWII. The main character, Joshua Arnold, lives in Mobile, Alabama with his Southern Belle mother and ship-building father. When Josh’s father enlists in the Navy, he has his family relocate to Sagrado, New Mexico where they’ve previously spent their summers.
The book is hysterically funny, in a John Green kind of way. But like John Green’s great books, there is heart-wrenching emotion in the book as well. I’ve read the book uncounted times.
So, favorite moments? There are several. When Josh discovers the bully is more bluster than action. When he finally sends the mooching “professional house guest” Jimbob packing. When Josh sees for the first time the tribute his sculptor friend has paid to his father.
Beyond these key moments in the book, this is a fantastic book featuring an ensemble cast, including Josh’s best friends Marcia and Steenie. Although the main characters are all white, there is a significant number of secondary characters who are POC, who are interesting and well fleshed out.
They did a pretty decent job on the movie adaptation, but read the book first. It’s simply wonderful.