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The Ship We Built

Lexie Bean
Book Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

About This Book

"Sometimes I have trouble filling out tests when the name part feels like a test too. . . . When I write letters, I love that you have to read all of my thoughts and stories before I say any name at all. You have to make it to the very end to know."

Rowan has too many secrets to write down in the pages of a diary. And if he did, he wouldn’t want anyone he knows to discover them. He understands who he is and what he likes, but it’s not safe for others to know. Now, the kids at school say he’s too different to spend time with. He’s not the “right kind” of girl, and he’s not the “right kind” of boy. His mom ignores him. And at night, his dad hurts him in ways he’s not ready to talk about yet.

But Rowan discovers another way to share his secrets: letters. Letters he attaches to balloons and releases into the universe, hoping someone new will read them and understand. But when he befriends a classmate who knows what it’s like to be lonely and scared, even at home, Rowan realizes that there might already be a person he can trust right by his side.

Tender and wise, The Ship We Built is about the bravery it takes to stand up for yourself–even to those you love–and the power of finding someone who treasures you for everything you are.




What makes this book great

Exploring the psychology of a young kid standing up to his/her fears while also trying to express their feelings to the world is a story we have all faced, and is why the massage of the story resounds so deeply. In the form of an anthology of letters, as in a diary he entrusts us with his deepest feelings, which allow readers to get an inside look into his emotional development, and see themselves on paper, possibly as a way of expressing their own pent up emotions. His exclusion from others, his school friends to even his parents, lends itself to a heart wrenching tale, but yields a happiness, at least a reconciliation, that leaves you content. What most stood out to me seeing her progress and through her anecdotes is the personal connection that develops, leaving you wanting more to reach the point where she can find happiness. Truly, Bean uses her skill as a musician to melodiously blend her insecurities into a beautiful harmony.

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