“The Mailbox” by Audrey Shafer has been selected as 2009’s MVRT book. This is the first book chosen that was written for a younger audience.
Gabe is a 12 year old who has moved from foster home to foster home and is eventually adopted by a reclusive uncle, a Vietnam Veteran. As the book begins, the boy returns home from school to find the uncle has died unexpectedly. Not wanting to return to foster care, he decides to keep the death a secret. He is aided in this by a mysterious person who communicates with him by leaving messages in the mailbox.
The 178 page book is written for grades 4 and up but should appeal to adults as well. It is a good one for families to discuss. It addresses the lingering effects of the Vietnam War on participants, the plight of a 12 year old orphan who longs for a family, the importance of pets, the value of reading, and a caring community--all wrapped up in a compelling mystery.
The author, a Mountain View resident, is a professor of anesthesia at Stanford and an anesthesiologist at Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. Watch for upcoming details about the November 2009 series of Mountain View Reads Together programs this fall.
The phone number listed for the Mountain View Reads Together program, “Introduction to Calligraphy” is incorrect in the MVRT brochure. To register for this program, which is on Wednesday, November 4, 7:00-8:30 p.m., please call (650) 903-6896. We apologize for any inconvenience.