Heartbreaking Children’s Books You Cannot Miss

heartbreaking childrens books 4

Heartbreaking children’s books, you say? Well, yes.

I’m not a cold-blooded person who enjoys seeing unfortunate things happen to children, I promise. The children in these books are a bit unfortunate in some ways, but reading this will make you feel different kind of emotions all at once. Love, sadness, joy, you name it.

I love children’s books, I really do (in fact, maybe I’m a tad obsessed), but when you read it when you’re old(er), it gets a bit hard to find exceptionally good books that could voice children’s feelings that sound genuine, and even harder to find one that could stir your emotion. Well, these books give you those.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

I read this book a few weeks before I left England, and I didn’t have the chance to watch the theater performance. The regret has been lingering from then on.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time follows the story of Christopher, a genius 15 year-old with autism spectrum. When he finds out his neighbor’s dog is dead, he determines to find out the killer. This investigation leads him to a much bigger discovery about his family, something he would never expect.

First of all, if you haven’t read this book, DO IT NOW. This book is a firm favorite mine (and lots of other people!), for good reasons. The simple yet unusual plot makes a wonderful story, and yet I think it’s the second best thing about this book. The first? Is the novelty of how this book is written. Christopher’s mannerisms are subtly accentuated throughout the book, and its consistency will make you feel that you’re talking to Christopher himself, rather than just reading his rambling. The author sure did pay attention to details (for example, the chapters are only in prime numbers, emphasizing Christopher’s obsession of prime numbers), and it’s those little things that make this book so great. There are also graphic displays, aiding the explanation of Christopher’s mind, and they’re really interesting (in a good way!). The story is closed with unexpected bittersweet ending, and I think it couldn’t be more perfect. It’s satisfying, heartbreaking, and wonderful. 5/5 stars for this book.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

I wonder why it took me so long to get my hands on this book. I’d heard that it was good, but I thought this book was a bit overhyped. Oh, how wrong was I.

Wonder tells the story of Auggie, a boy with facial defects due to a rare medical deformity called mandibulofacial dysostosis. For years, he struggles with people’s reactions when they see his face, resulting in him avoiding contacts with people whenever he can. His life starts to change when he goes to school (after home-schooling for years). It’s a totally different kind of life than the one he’s been living, and it’s not an easy battle to fight.

When I read this book, I wondered why I couldn’t put it down. The story — although it’s really good — seems plain compared to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. And then I realized it’s Auggie that captured my heart. He’s the toughest little kid (okay, character) that I’ve ever read, and I dare you not to love him. It’s not easy to touch people with details about mundane events that happen in children’s lives, but Palacio nailed it. Be it something simple like Halloween costume incident or something bigger like being assaulted by bullies, there’s always something that will break your heart. And the best part, it’s like reading a child’s diary, you wouldn’t believe it’s written by an adult.  5/5 stars for this book (of course, otherwise I wouldn’t recommend it!). Now stop reading this blog and read Wonder NOW!

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  • Reply Ghazi Binarandi

    I’ll vote “The Curious Incident” as the best book written during my lifetime (so far)! Read it when I was in junior high school, but I still can recall some of its story details. Too bad can’t see the play! 🙁

    October 15, 2015 at 2:22 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      It’s one of the best book I’ve ever come across! I’m still hoping to see the play someday though 🙂

      October 16, 2015 at 2:09 am
  • Reply @beradadisini

    try reading the boy who ate stars by kochka and the highest tide by jim lynch. I have a feeling that you might like them 😀

    March 17, 2016 at 5:41 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      A quick google about those books has made me really intrigued. Those would be on my list, thanks for the recommendation Hanny 🙂

      March 18, 2016 at 2:45 am

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