<The Man Who Loved Clowns by June Rae Wood
Each night before bed, I read a chapter of a book to my children. My son is quite obsessed with Harry Potter at the moment so when we finished the most recent in the series, I decided we should read something a little more realistic.
I picked up The Man Who Loved Clowns because:
- It was on my bookshelf
- I have heard the author speak many times
- I’ve heard several teachers and students talk about how much they loved it
- I’m a little embarrassed that I haven’t read it yet
Delrita lives with her parents and her uncle, Punky, who is a grown man with Down’s Syndrome. It really bothers Delrita when people notice that Punky is different. She tries to be invisible in her life so people won’t notice her. She never has friends over because she doesn’t want Punky to embarrass her.
Delrita, her parents, and Punky set off to Branson, Missouri, for a trip to Silver Dollar City. Delrita’s parents decide to go antiquing so they drop Delrita and Punky off at the amusement park while they go shop and they will meet up with them later. Delrita is so excited to see the master wood carving because she has a hobby of carving wood, herself.
After a great day of exploring Silver Dollar City, Delrita’s parents are very late for their scheduled meeting time.
In a heartbreaking turn of events that I did not see coming (when I was reading this to my children right before bed), Delrita’s parents were tragically killed in a car accident.
Needless to say, we read another chapter before going to bed to avoid any nightmares for any of us.
Delrita and Punky go live with her aunt and uncle who have a much more formal life than Delrita is used to.
Through all of these changes, Delrita makes a new friend who just might teach her more about friendship than she’s ever known before.
I liked that this book was set in Missouri. It was fun to be familiar with places that were mentioned in the book.
We enjoyed this book even though it couldn’t be more different than Harry Potter. There were parts of the book that were dated and opened communication about what life was like without having a cell phone to call anyone you need to talk to.
Delrita had a good heart and meant the best when she tried to shield Punky from ridicule of others. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes “when you know better, you do better”.