RiTS

by Mariken Jongman

Thirteen-year-old Rits has been living with his Uncle Corry since his mother had... read more

Thirteen-year-old Rits has been living with his Uncle Corry since his mother had a breakdown. Corry is hardly ready for prime-time parenting: He has no clue how to offer comfort and support to a boy full of worry and anxiety, nor does it even occur to him that he should. Prone to bouts of hypochondria and panic, Rits finds solace and purpose in two goals: making a movie and learning to cook. The movie is inspired by his new friend Rita’s intriguing and sometimes mysterious family history, which leads Rits to embark on a stint of documentary filmmaking. And the cooking is inspired by Corry’s nutritionally challenged lifestyle. The narrative is composed of Rits’s journal entries, full of observations that are painful, tender, and so very funny at times. Rits is spot-on sure of the things he knows are true about the world (many of which are only true if you’re thirteen) yet unsure of so much else as he bears the burden of not knowing what will happen to his family as it seems to unravel around him. But there is hope, too—in Rits’s sweetly developing relationship with Corry; in his deepening friendship with Rita, the girl next door (well, across the street); and even in the efforts of Rits’s very imperfect parents to do their best by him in the days to come—leaving a lasting impression in this singular story. (Ages 11–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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