The One-in-a-Million Boy (★★★★☆)

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Monica Wood  *  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  *  April 5, 2016  *  336 Pages

Advanced Reader Copy provided by Net Galley & Amazon Vine.

Ona is 104-years old, and though she is surprisingly competent at taking care of herself, she still needs help around the house. A local boy scout troop offers to send one scout over for two hours every Saturday to help her with small tasks (like filling her many bird feeders), but Ona, dissatisfied with their work, sends them away one after the other. It isn’t until she meets The Boy, that she finally accepts the help–reluctantly at first, but then happily.

Over time, Ona and The Boy develop a deep friendship with each other. Ona has lived an atypical life, but, like most people, she’s experienced some significant sadness. And The Boy, who is smaller-than-average and incredibly intelligent and quirky in his own right, isn’t having the easiest time with his grade school peers. In the end, hardship brings them together.

The relationship between Ona and The Boy, shared mostly in flashbacks, is my favorite part of this book. But, actually, their relationship makes up only about half of the story. The main storyline, set in the present, is between Ona and The Boy’s father, Quinn. Quinn wasn’t around for most of his son’s childhood, but he ends up finally getting to know his son better through Ona.

This book is very sweet. It is written beautifully and flows so well. I also really appreciate the uniqueness of the story; it isn’t predictable at all. My only wish is that there had been more of The Boy. Of course his storyline broke my heart. And while I can acknowledge that that is what a good book SHOULD do–it should make you FEEL something–I just so badly wanted things to go a different way. Still, reading The One-in-a-Million Boy was a joy, and I would definitely recommend it to others.

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