The Raft by Jim LaMarche is an adorable book about a boy forced to spend a summer with his grandmother, a self-proclaimed river rat.
Bored at first, the boy spends his days doing chores. Then one day he finds a raft on the river. Animals are strangely attracted to the raft and boy spends his summer observing nature from his raft, sketching and learning about their behavior.
His last day at Grandma’s he rescues a fawn who is stuck in the river mud.
In the end, the boy has become a part of the river just like Grandma.
I liked this book because it highlights the simplicity of Nature and how a summer that is not jam-packed full of activities can be great. It tells kids being in Nature is fun and adventuresome, which is important when a lot of kids today live on video games and TV.
It also shows how Grandmas whom kids don’t know very well can be cool, too. I grew up not close to any of my grandparents so this shows how kids should give their grandparents a chance when given the opportunity to spend some time with them.
Nature has an incredible power to teach–something a lot of kids today have gotten away from. This book illustrates this point beautifully.