Hi All! It’s Becky. I was given a copy of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day way back in 2016. I finally got to listen to the audiobook and I was little surprised. Here are my thoughts:
Title: Ms. Bixby’s Last Day
Author: John David Anderson
Note: I listened to the audio book.
Summary: Ms. Bixby is one of the “Good Ones”. She is the best teacher at Topher, Brand, and Steve’s school. The boys all love Ms. Bixby and she has made all of their lives better just by being their teacher. However, everyone’s world is about to change. Ms. Bixby is sick and she is no longer able to be their teacher. Topher, Brand, and Steve need to say goodbye to their favorite teacher so they embark on a journey to travel by city bus to visit Ms. Bixby at the hospital and give her the perfect last day.
Review: I think this book may have been ruined for me by all the buzz around it. Everyone I know who read it thought the book was wonderful and there is even a movie adaptation in development but I never really connected with the story or the characters. The children felt purposely diverse which gave the book a richer narrative voice however didn’t really let me know the kids. They all felt like they were designed to fulfill a very specific requirement (Character with demanding parents? Check! Character with possible Aspergers? Check!) and nothing more. Plus, their journey to Ms. Bixby’s hospital room felt outlandish and not possible for even the most wily of sixth graders. However, the general message of dealing with grief and having to adjust to life’s bumpy road was strong and something young readers need to learn and I’m sure the adventure aspect will appeal to precocious readers in elementary school.
Final Rating: 3 out of 5