Accidental – Alex Richards

      Accidental – Alex Richards, narrated by Laura Knight Keating, Recorded Books, (9781705001363), 2020. 

Format: Audiobook: 9 cds, 10.25 hours

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre: Realistic fiction

What did you like about the book? Johanna has been raised by her grandparents since she was a toddler when her mother died in an automobile accident.  Or so she thought until at the age of 16, her father whom she has never known, shows up and tells her that what really happened was that Johanna, at the age of 2 ½, picked up a loaded gun her father had left unsecured in the house, shot and killed her mother.  Jo is furious that her grandparents have kept this truth form her and pretty much stops speaking to them.  When kids at her school find out, they begin to treat her like a mass murderer who is going to shoot them all.

Anything you did not like about the book?  Is it because I am an adult that I can certainly understand why the grandparents did not tell her that she shot and killed her mother?  Being viewed as a mass murderer for killing her mother at the age of 2 feels very unrealistic.  Where is the sympathy, the empathy?  The story feels disingenuous with nearly all of the adults being clueless and mean.

To whom would you recommend this book? I’m not sure.  I did not appreciate the unlikeliness of the characters nor did I feel any connection with Johanna.

Who should buy this book? Public and high school libraries

Where would you shelve it? YA Audiobooks

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  No.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Manager, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: 9/13/2020

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