Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

Google Custom Search

Reynolds, Jason.
New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015

(4 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews

Booktalk #1

Have you ever lost anyone close to you?

Sixteen-year-old Matt sure has Ė his mom, but thatís not why he wears a black suit every day.  

Matt lives in a rough Brooklyn neighborhood - his mom just died and his dad just canít seem to keep it together.  When Matt applies for a job at the Cluck Bucket, and learns he may have to clean up vomit, he reluctantly accepts a job at Mr. Rayís funeral home.

While working at the funeral home, Matt meets Lovey (yes, thatís really her name) at her grandmotherís funeral.  Lovey is tough, and Matt admires her for it.  You will empathize with Matt and Lovey as they navigate their grief and family responsibilities in this coming-of-age novel by Jason Reynolds.  (Oklahoma Sequoyah Award, 2017)

Booktalk #2

Have you ever lost someone one to cancer? Even worse that person is your parent. Matt has lost his mom to cancer and it seems like the world and all his friends are looking at him like he is sick himself. It is hard enough being in high school without the added weight of death hanging over your shoulder. It seems like the only one that understands is his best friend Chris and Ray at the funeral home. Matt gets a job with Ray and he helps with the funerals setting up the food, tables and chairs. Listening in on other peopleís funerals seems to be a healing balm for Matt. Of course there has to be a girl involved, so here enters Lovely at one of the wakes as she gets up to speak, and Matt remembers her as the girl from the Cluck Bucket. They find a way to help each other deal with the loss of their loved ones. (Prepared by: Wendy S. Tyree, Green Sea Floyds High School,  South Carolina Young Adult Book nominee 2017)

Booktalk #3

Why would a handsome 17-year-old wear a black suit every day? I mean wearing it every day to school, to the store, to work. By reading The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds, you will find out how Matt confronts his fears through working at a funeral home and by making friends with a young lady, Lovey, who has endured more in her life then he has.  (Oklahoma Intermediate Sequoyah Award, 2018)

Booktalk #4

Matt is trying to cope with his momís death from cancer and his dadís drinking. A job at a local funeral home gives him comfort and then he meets a girl, who helps him share his feelings. This is a story of growing from loss. (Connecticut Nutmeg Book Award nominee, 2018)

SUBJECTS:     African Americans -- Fiction.
                        Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) -- Fiction.
                        Family life -- New York (State)
                        Brooklyn -- Fiction.
                        Funeral homes -- Fiction.
                        Funeral rites and ceremonies -- Fiction.
                        Grief -- Fiction.

Main Page ** Author List ** Title List ** New This Month ** Interest Level ** Subject List ** FAQ's ** Contributors ** Booktalking Tips **Book Review Sources ** Reading lists ** Reading lists ** Awards **Nancy Keane's Children's Website **
Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is
licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License