Title: Only Child
Authors: Navin, Rhiannon
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 288
Year: 2018
Language: English
Description: Six-year-old Zach Taylor has had far too much happen in his short life: he has experienced a school shooting that has taken his brother Andy, and now his parents are not themselves. It's bewildering and his parents' preoccupations in the aftermath of the tragedy leave Zach floundering, alone. But it is the naive optimism and determination of the big-hearted child he is, to make things right, that has unexpected consequences.

Presented through the unique perspective of an insightful young survivor, this is a powerful story of grief and recovery. [Larger font]

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"What a powerful and remarkable novel. I found it difficult to put this book down."

"One of the best books I've read for a while even though I don't normally like this type of book."

"An amazing read that will stay in my mind for a long time. It's also a beautiful story of a child's resilience."

"Whether it was possible a 6 year old to have such an insightful and powerful voice didn't bother me - it was such an excellent way to gain insight into these tragedies from a victim's perspective."

"The characters are very real and the writing is impeccable."

"There is so much to think about: the horror of the shooting, the need to blame someone, the struggle for families to cope with their grief and the dysfunction that can happen as family members struggle to cope with this loss."

"Powerful and tragic, a story of raw emotion with a family falling apart as they each try to deal with the tragedy in their own way."
Categories: Fiction, Community, Contemporary, Relationships, Tragedy/disaster, Young narrator, America, What's Hot, 2020 Titles, Larger font


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By: CHCH 393 2021-04-16 14:57:25
Not at all what we expected to read about a school shooting. Truly fascinating viewpoint.

By: AUCK 255 2020-08-19 11:36:32
Heartbreaking story, but loved the writing from a child's perspective, particularly the portrayal of emotions as colours.

By: WANAK 008 2020-08-07 15:37:56
One loved it, one hated it and the rest of us hovered somewhere in the middle. We generally agreed that if we had picked it up at the library we would have put it back on the shelf having read the back cover and realised the setting for the story. However, we generally liked the story being told from the child's perspective (especially the primary teachers in our group!) but overall we found the theme very disturbing.

By: TEMUK 001 2020-07-09 14:26:10
So much discussion arose from our reading of this book - especially concerning Zach's personality and perception, as well as the themes of grief and guilt. Enjoyed by us all.

By: WELL 150 2020-07-03 14:28:48
Reduced us to tears - such an emotional read. This author manages to get inside a child's thoughts and perspective really well.

By: UPHU 007 2020-06-22 14:32:39
Was mostly enjoyed.

By: HOKITIK 001 2020-06-15 14:54:43
The majority of members enjoyed the idea of this horrific event told through the eyes of a child; a unique perspective, although two members thought it was contrived. An interesting account of a family in shock and trauma. Many members could relate to this and expressed their experiences - it brought out interesting discussions.

By: TEPUK 006 2020-06-15 11:29:46
An excellent read which prompted lively discussion. The writer held the child's perspective throughout (mostly). Well crafted story of a family under incredible stress, and forced by a horrible act of violence to confront underlying tensions and issues. Highly recommend.

By: CHCH 396 2020-05-13 14:25:18
This was a very good book for creating lively discussion!

By: KATIK 006 2020-05-13 14:24:38
Everyone enjoyed this.

By: LOWER 008 2020-05-13 14:24:00
WE all LOVED the book. Good writing - full of authentic feeling and detail. The characters develop and rub off on each other.

By: CHCH 016 2020-05-12 15:56:31
A mixed response from the group. Some thought the book was very good. Others thought it was "written for book clubs" - a genre all its own, hence the questions published within the book. Another comment was that it appealed to our voyeuristic fascination with nasty things done to others.

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