By Awnali Mills
Sussy and Guy are, in the immortal words of Forrest Gump, just like peas and carrots. They’ve been best friends forever. Guy’s mother won’t allow him to have pets, but they’re able to talk Sussy’s father into getting them a leopard gecko—Guy’s favorite animal. Guy knows all about geckos and takes the lead in the care of their new pet, Matylda, even though she lives with Sussy.
Then, on their way to the pet store to get more supplies for Matylda, there’s a terrible accident. Sussy has to learn how to love and care for Matylda, and she hopes that she can keep Guy alive if she loves Matylda just right.
Kids love sad stories, and kids who enjoyed Bridge to Terabithia will also enjoy Matylda, Bright & Tender. I think this would be a fantastic book for kids’ book discussion groups, since there are topics of stealing, pet ownership, friendship, grief and more in the book. I enjoyed the book, and would recommend it for grades 3-5.