Friday, December 7, 2018

Review: An Invisible Thread: The True Story Adapted for Young Readers

An Invisible Thread: The True Story Adapted for Young Readers An Invisible Thread: The True Story Adapted for Young Readers by Laura Schroff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This truly is an amazing story of two people who just happen to meet on the streets of New York. Yet is it really coincidence or were they meant to strike up a friendship that changed them forever? The author posits that there is an invisible thread that connects certain people - that they are to be in one another's lives.
This is the true story of Laura and Maurice. Laura is a success story from a humble background. She lives and works in New York where she passes 11 year old Maurice, an African American boy who asks her for some change because he's hungry. She passes him by then stops and walks back to him. She takes him to eat at McDonald's. So begins their weekly dinner dates and unlikely friendship that spans decades.
What struck me as incredible is that Laura recognizes and honors the boundaries that must stay in place. She crosses them on occasion, but she realizes that she is not to be the rich, white lady that gives Maurce everything he needs. They are to be friends. In the beginning, she shows him a world where there is another alternative to what he has been exposed to. A place where people get jobs and work every day, earning a paycheck. They eat three meals and use silverware. The best part is that they eat at a family table, like the one at Laura's sister's house, and stay after the meal is finished and enjoy each other's company.

Maurice is practically and then truly homeless and always hungry. He lives with his grandmother, mother, and sisters in section 8 housing. Different grownups sleep in the one bedroom apartment. He is inured to the adults being on drugs in the "zone," drug deals, even murders occurring right in the apartment. You eat when you can find food. He didn't know about tissues being used for blowing your nose. How to use utensils or how to set a table.

Maurice and Laura spend years together in their friendship. They count on one another even as their circumstances change. Their commonality is their love for their family but also abusive childhoods. What they each gain is something that can't be quantified.

The reason I give it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I also read the unadapted version of An Invisible Thread and found the depth to be much more satisfying. I believe this book should be required reading in junior highs and middle schools.

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