This is one of the books I wished I’d had a chance to read when I was a child. I’m sure that it might have been one of my favourites then, exposed to constant re-reading with the never-changing outcome of my sitting in my reading nook a sobbing wreck. As a callous and disillusioned grown-up I wasn’t as gripped as I undoubtedly would have been as a child. The book probably deserves an objective 4-5 stars rating (it’s a Newbery award winner, isn’t it?), but since my ratings are supposed to reflect my very personal reading pleasure I’ll give it a generous 3-3.5 rating. I’m old. I’m a cynic. I saw these things coming, even if I wanted to be proven wrong.