Snap is a compassionate book by Alison McGhee. It is a book about friendship and ‘being of strong heart’.

Eleven year old (going to seventh grade at the end of the summer) Edwina Beckey (AKA Eddie) is a girl of lists; making lists for just about everything and everyone in her life. She likes lists and “listlike arrays” that look like lists or are in an orderly fashion. For example, the six rubber bands she wears on her left wrist. Each one is a reminder of her six bad habits. Every time she is doing a bad habit, she will snap the rubber band that symbolizes that habit.

But, when her best friend, Sally Hobart’s grandmother, Willie (the grandmother Sally has been living with all her life because her mother was not ready to raise a child when she had her) gets a terminal disease, Eddie finds that life is not always so orderly and knowable.

This book tells a story about a girl’s friend’s grandmother who is dying. In life, many children- and adults- go through a time their best friend has a parent or guardian very dear to them who is dying.

As I was reading this book, I noticed that Eddie tells the story with a lot of detail to explain a character’s personality or traits. For example, here is a piece of the story where Eddie is watching her mother fold towels:

‘She finished folding a towel. She shakes each one out with a snap before she folds it. She laid the folded towel on top of the pile and smoothed the stack with her palm… She folded another towel. I watched her hands hover over the towel stack, and I knew she was debating whether or not to put the new towel on top of the stack or start a new stack. She started a new one….’

This shows that Eddie’s mother is very neat, and likes to do things in an orderly fashion.

I recommend this book to children ages 11-13 because it is a good book about the power of friendship, and how it can help you get through tough times.