MILO is the funny and poignant story, told through text and cartoons, of a 13 year old boy’s struggle to reconnect with the loss that hit the reset button on his life. Loveable geek Milo Cruikshank finds reasons for frustration at every turn, like people who carve Halloween pumpkins way too soon (the pumpkins just rot and get lopsided). The truth is – ever since his mother died there’s not much Milo likes anymore. Now, instead of the kitchen being full of music, his whole house has been filled with Fog. Nothing’s the same. Not his Dad. Not his sister. And definitely not him. In love with the girl he sneezed on the first day of school and best pals with Marshall, the “One Eyed Jack” of friends, Milo copes with being the new kid (again) as he struggles to survive the school year that is filled with reminders of what his life “used to be."
This book was awarded the Sid Fleischmann Humor Award at the conference this year, so I knew it would be funny. I mean, it has all of these cute little cartoons! It must be cute and sweet and silly, right? Well, it is. But it has so much more depth than that, and it's the depth that had me running to the bookstore, and it's the depth that had be sobbing on the plane as I read through this amazing book.
Yes, Milo is adjusting to life at a new school and a crush on a girl and all of the antics that come with that territory. But he's also adjusting to life without his mother, who died of cancer four years before. And Milo's observations about life without his mom and the impact that loss has had on his dad, his family, and himself...oh man. It's impossible to read this book without shedding a tear for Milo's loss and heartbreak.
This book manages to be both hilariously funny and heartbreakingly sad. Sometimes right there on the same page. It's the kind of book that you hug to your chest when you finish, and you make a list of the special people in your life you want to share it with. It captures all of those truths about life, both the irreverent and the painful, and it does it in a way that stays with you long after you are done with it. I loved Milo, and I hope everyone takes some time to get to know this sweet and thoughtful little guy.