The Whispers
Eleven-year-old Riley believes in the whispers, magical fairies that will grant you wishes if you leave them tributes. Riley has a lot of wishes. He wishes bullies at school would stop picking on him. He wishes Dylan, his 8th grade crush, liked him, and Riley wishes he would stop wetting the bed. But most of all, Riley wishes for his mom to come back home. She disappeared a few months ago, and Riley is determined to crack the case. He even meets with a detective, Frank, to go over his witness statement time and time again.Frustrated with the lack of progress in the investigation, Riley decides to take matters into his own hands. So he goes on a camping trip with his friend Gary to find the whispers and ask them to bring his mom back home. But Riley doesn't realize the trip will shake the foundation of everything that he believes in forever.

The Whispers Details

TitleThe Whispers
Author
ReleaseJan 15th, 2019
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780525517498
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Lgbt, Fantasy, Young Adult, Glbt, Queer

The Whispers Review

  • Neville Longbottom
    January 1, 1970
    The Whispers is an absolutely gorgeous middle grade novel about Riley, an eleven year old boy whose mother has gone missing. Riley believes that the key to finding her lies with The Whispers, wish granting fairies from the stories she used to tell him. Riley’s also struggling with his dad seeming like he doesn’t want him around anymore, bullies at school, and having a crush on an older boy. Greg Howard’s writing here is so beautiful. All of the emotions and imagery jumped off the page. I appreci The Whispers is an absolutely gorgeous middle grade novel about Riley, an eleven year old boy whose mother has gone missing. Riley believes that the key to finding her lies with The Whispers, wish granting fairies from the stories she used to tell him. Riley’s also struggling with his dad seeming like he doesn’t want him around anymore, bullies at school, and having a crush on an older boy. Greg Howard’s writing here is so beautiful. All of the emotions and imagery jumped off the page. I appreciated how this book didn’t seem like it was dumbed down for younger readers. Even though the main character is eleven and it’s written in first person, it still feels remarkably mature. But not in a way that Riley doesn’t seem like a real eleven year old. This is a very moving story. Once all the layers start peeling back and you realize everything that Riley has been going through, it’s hard to not shed a couple tears. All of the turmoil from his family situation on top of coming to terms with his sexuality in a conservative, Christian town in the South makes for a lot of emotional moments in this book. I truly think this is a book that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. To me, it feels like a pretty mature middle grade book, one that people who don’t normally read from that age range could still get a lot out of.
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  • Harker
    January 1, 1970
    CW: bullying, anti-gay terminology/homophobia, child abuse, animal death, talk about segregation behaviorRiley has a strong belief in the Whispers: fairies that will grant you your heart's desire if you offer a tribute. He needs to believe in them because his mama has been missing for months now and if he doesn't believe...what then?Greg Howard's middle grade debut novel was a well written, heart breaking example of how sometimes the belief we hold on to is all we have in the face of something f CW: bullying, anti-gay terminology/homophobia, child abuse, animal death, talk about segregation behaviorRiley has a strong belief in the Whispers: fairies that will grant you your heart's desire if you offer a tribute. He needs to believe in them because his mama has been missing for months now and if he doesn't believe...what then?Greg Howard's middle grade debut novel was a well written, heart breaking example of how sometimes the belief we hold on to is all we have in the face of something far more devastating, but that processing, growing up, whatever you want to call it, is also possible.There was an expectation I had about The Whispers going into reading it and while I might have held onto them for awhile, when Riley was telling us about his Mama singing to him, the games they would play, and the stories she would share with him, it wasn't long before a sense of foreboding took over.While Riley has a sense of wonder and a belief in the fantastical, there's also This was a good, solid read that I kept wanting to pick up, even when I had to set it aside for other tasks. Even when I thought I knew where the story was going (that sense of foreboding I mentioned? yeah, it only gets stronger as you go), I had to know for sure. I had to know how Riley was going to figure things out: how he was going to handle living with his dad, who seemed to hate him since Mama vanished; his classmates, who teased him for liking stuff he "shouldn't" like; his crush on his nextdoor neighbor, Dylan. There's a lot going on beneath the surface for Riley and while he might seem single minded, there's also a lot of confusion boiling up inside that creates tension for him and whoever's reading about him.Riley's life in a South Carolina town is complex. He's eleven years old and figuring things out, such as how he feels about those around him, particularly who he wants to kiss. This is complicated by the sermons he hears at church and what the Brothers and Sisters from church say when they think he can't hear. From an adult perspective, it was even more heartbreaking to realize what they meant and I wanted to shake these people for being so cruel to a child.There's also an interesting method of storytelling wherein Riley sees things from a certain point of view. Some readers might be able to guess at particular plot points in advance and thereby guess as the story progresses, but if not, at the end you can look back and see how Riley's perspective and that of those around him differ and makes it almost like there were two stories going on simultaneously. The emotional impact of The Whispers cannot be understated. It's quite good and I think there will be quite an audience for it. I'm not sure if the writing style will be for everyone in the middle grade audience because as much as I liked it, I'm not 100% that younger readers will stick with it through the early stages. I'd certainly encourage them too, though, because it's well worth it. Provide tissues, though, for the finals scenes and readers of all ages.I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Quotes included are from an advanced reader copy and may not reflect the finalized copy.
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  • Melissa Chambers
    January 1, 1970
    The Whispers is a sweet and tender story that takes place in small town South Carolina. While the plot is rich and layered, you'll find yourself getting lost in the everyday-ness of life in the country with gems like Riley's grandma's 5-4-3-2-1 fruit salad, "country neighbors", and the Pentecostal Corn Choir. You are guaranteed to be transported to another world with this very special, very extraordinary story about a boy who's navigating a difficult path. Highly recommended for middle grade nov The Whispers is a sweet and tender story that takes place in small town South Carolina. While the plot is rich and layered, you'll find yourself getting lost in the everyday-ness of life in the country with gems like Riley's grandma's 5-4-3-2-1 fruit salad, "country neighbors", and the Pentecostal Corn Choir. You are guaranteed to be transported to another world with this very special, very extraordinary story about a boy who's navigating a difficult path. Highly recommended for middle grade novel readers of all ages.
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  • Sarah Nelson
    January 1, 1970
    Such a sweet story about growing up, finding yourself, and forgiveness. Fair warning, get the tissues ready. I was not prepared for the emotions.Thank you to the publisher for providing this book through Netgalley and putting me on the blog tour. Read my full review at bookishbugblog.com
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  • Adam Sass
    January 1, 1970
    This story is not just a wonderful, sweet, moody mystery, it's also one of the rarest examples I've ever read of taking the point of view of a gay person at the moment they're starting to understand who they are. At 11 years old, Riley is dealing with not just the sudden disappearance of his mother, but also the guilt that his "condition" may be responsible. It's full of wonderful, charming voice and remarkable insights into grief and early gay confusion. This book is priceless!
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  • Jenni Frencham
    January 1, 1970
    Howard, Greg. The Whispers. G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR, 2019.Riley believes in the old tales of the Whispers, forest creatures who can grant wishes if you bring them tribute. He also thinks they know what happened to his mama and how he can take care of what he refers to as his "other problem," aka his crush on an older boy. But he's having difficulty convincing anyone else that the Whispers are real.This is a whimsical story of a boy who still believes in miracles and fairy creatures, but who is al Howard, Greg. The Whispers. G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR, 2019.Riley believes in the old tales of the Whispers, forest creatures who can grant wishes if you bring them tribute. He also thinks they know what happened to his mama and how he can take care of what he refers to as his "other problem," aka his crush on an older boy. But he's having difficulty convincing anyone else that the Whispers are real.This is a whimsical story of a boy who still believes in miracles and fairy creatures, but who is also struggling with a family with a missing member and who hasn't yet come out to anyone and is relentlessly teased. This mashup of contemporary fiction and fantasy makes for a few awkwardly written transitions between the two, and Riley's inner monologue doesn't always read true for a junior high student. Nonetheless, the fantasy element will draw readers in, particularly those who have enjoyed fairy tales in the past.Recommended for: tweensRed Flags: some homophobic commentary from Riley's classmatesOverall Rating: 3/5 starsI received a complimentary copy of this book through Edelweiss for the purpose of review.
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  • Craig
    January 1, 1970
    It took me a little bit to get into the book, mostly because the setting was very rural American, something I'm not particularly knowledgeable about, and haven't read a lot of. Once I adjusted to the setting and language of the book though, I was utterly drawn in.Initially I was a bit undecided on how I felt about the author clearly putting vocabulary in with explanations to encourage children to learn; on one hand it was clevely woven into the story, but on the other hand I was worried it would It took me a little bit to get into the book, mostly because the setting was very rural American, something I'm not particularly knowledgeable about, and haven't read a lot of. Once I adjusted to the setting and language of the book though, I was utterly drawn in.Initially I was a bit undecided on how I felt about the author clearly putting vocabulary in with explanations to encourage children to learn; on one hand it was clevely woven into the story, but on the other hand I was worried it would start to feel a bit forced. It didn't. The natural and very funny explanations for each word kept it fresh, and tied into the story very smoothly.One of my favourite parts of the story was the main character Riley; it's very rare to see a gay character portrayed younger than a teenager and so... accurately. Obviously everyone is different, but I could definitely relate to some of the things Riley was going through, because I remember going through them myself. It's also nice to see a gay character where romance isn't the main point of them, although he did have a crush (and it was super cute, and far too relatable), it was in no way the main point of the story.I won't say much about the ending because I don't want to spoil anything; all I'll say is that it ended both how I thought it would, and it didn't. It was very moving, but very sad in a lot of respects too.If you want an easy read that will make you laugh, cry, and appreciate the world around you a little more, I'd definitely recommend giving this a go.
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  • Briana
    January 1, 1970
    Source: e-ARC from publisher
  • Sammy E. T.
    January 1, 1970
    I will defintly give it a try.
  • Tracey
    January 1, 1970
    I'll admit to shedding a few tears on this one--only a few, though, because I was reading it in a coffee shop. I put it on my magical reality shelf, though by the end, you'll have to decide on how much--and what kind--of magic.
  • Jessica Calla
    January 1, 1970
    This was a beautifully written, middle grade novel that made me smile throughout, but sob cry at the end. Riley is determined to solve the mystery surrounding his beloved mother’s disappearance, and turns to the Whispers for help. Mr. Howard takes the reader along with Riley through every step on his journey and shows us Riley’s Southern roots, his family, and his friends all through a perfectly written, middle grade voice. My heart is full after reading this thoughtful, emotional, hopeful story This was a beautifully written, middle grade novel that made me smile throughout, but sob cry at the end. Riley is determined to solve the mystery surrounding his beloved mother’s disappearance, and turns to the Whispers for help. Mr. Howard takes the reader along with Riley through every step on his journey and shows us Riley’s Southern roots, his family, and his friends all through a perfectly written, middle grade voice. My heart is full after reading this thoughtful, emotional, hopeful story. Beautiful.
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  • James Brandon
    January 1, 1970
    A beautiful MG novel about magic and grief and self-discovery for all ages. It’s a page-turning journey I couldn’t put down, a thrill-ride to the soul. Gorgeously written, full of depth and wit, I easily saw myself scattered in bits of Riley through the pages. This is a story I wish I had in middle school, the hardest years of my life. I undoubtedly would have been spared some of the pain and replaced it with some of this magic.
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  • Bryant
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advance copy of this book and I wasn't sure I'd be able to get into since it's middle grade. I absolutely loved Social Intercourse, primarily because Greg didn't hold anything back making it as realistic as possible. Obviously I wasn't expecting the same kinda content in this book. Something else I didn't expect was it making me cry at work. Yup. That's a thing that happened. This book is about as close to perfect as you can get. I absolutely loved it. Riley's voice is so real, you I received an advance copy of this book and I wasn't sure I'd be able to get into since it's middle grade. I absolutely loved Social Intercourse, primarily because Greg didn't hold anything back making it as realistic as possible. Obviously I wasn't expecting the same kinda content in this book. Something else I didn't expect was it making me cry at work. Yup. That's a thing that happened. This book is about as close to perfect as you can get. I absolutely loved it. Riley's voice is so real, you'll be hooked within a few pages.
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  • Laura Sibson
    January 1, 1970
    So grateful to have read an ARC of this middle-grade novel, which will be released January 2019. Greg Howard creates a setting so lush that I felt as though I were in the magical woods of South Carolina with Riley, his dog Tucker and Riley's friends. Riley is a believable 11-year old boy who worries about his family, wants to find his lost mother and isn't always perfect to his best friend. He's also struggling with guilt that the fact that he's more interested in boys than girls is what caused So grateful to have read an ARC of this middle-grade novel, which will be released January 2019. Greg Howard creates a setting so lush that I felt as though I were in the magical woods of South Carolina with Riley, his dog Tucker and Riley's friends. Riley is a believable 11-year old boy who worries about his family, wants to find his lost mother and isn't always perfect to his best friend. He's also struggling with guilt that the fact that he's more interested in boys than girls is what caused his mother's disappearance. I eagerly followed Riley through all of his adventures (and misadventures) to the surprising conclusion. I was sorry for the story to end and I look forward to reading more by this author.
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  • Beck
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a sad story, about a boy called Riley who, being unable to accepts his mothers passing, creates a fantasy that she has been taken by a Hobgoblin and the Whispers can help him find her. This was a well written story that moved between fantasy and real life.The reason I have given this book three stars - Rileys homosexuality is called a "condition" and experiences homophobia from not only the kids at school but also the adults from the church. There is religious anti-gay undertones t This was such a sad story, about a boy called Riley who, being unable to accepts his mothers passing, creates a fantasy that she has been taken by a Hobgoblin and the Whispers can help him find her. This was a well written story that moved between fantasy and real life.The reason I have given this book three stars - Rileys homosexuality is called a "condition" and experiences homophobia from not only the kids at school but also the adults from the church. There is religious anti-gay undertones to this book, which were smacking me in the face constantly as I was reading. As much as this might still unfortunately be happening in our modern world today, I do not think this is behaviour that should be accepted, or should be written into a book for this age group. I also disliked the sexualisation of girls and there were too many references to drugs, smoking, sex and swearing. I personally think this was excessive for this age group. (Let me explain that I would not have made negative comments if this content was in an adult, or even a YA novel. I just consider that this content is not age appropriate).I did however really enjoy the introduction of new words, which this age group might not recognise and get the chance to learn.Overall, a well written story, but as pointed out, some areas that I think some parents might want to consider before giving this book to their child.
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  • Tory
    January 1, 1970
    SPOILERSI really hate unreliable narrators.
  • Thompson McLeod
    January 1, 1970
    Heartfelt, beautiful, mesmerizing and a tale that will captivate readers!The Whispers is this year's must read for young readers, teachers, parents, everyone! It is that middle grade book readers will remember long after finishing it.Riley is ten when his mother disappears. He misses her and sees her influence everywhere he looks. He tries to find her in the whispered voices he hears at twilight. He prays that the voices can tell him where she's gone or better yet, bring her back home. The whisp Heartfelt, beautiful, mesmerizing and a tale that will captivate readers!The Whispers is this year's must read for young readers, teachers, parents, everyone! It is that middle grade book readers will remember long after finishing it.Riley is ten when his mother disappears. He misses her and sees her influence everywhere he looks. He tries to find her in the whispered voices he hears at twilight. He prays that the voices can tell him where she's gone or better yet, bring her back home. The whispers is a story Riley's mama used to tell him every night.Riley's family doesn't mention Mama. Photos of her have been put away as if she never existed to anyone but Riley. His grandparents refer to his "condition." Riley has two conditions: his foggy memory on the day his mother went missing and his secret "condition"--the fact that he likes boys. His family considers Riley quiet, weak and a "Mama's boy." He is introspective, creative and soft-spoken.Riley has to meet with "Fat Bald Detective" many times. The man keeps asking him the same questions. What does he remember about the day Mama disappeared? Riley remembers she was lying on the couch and he touched her hand. Then, he went out to play and Mama went missing. Riley doesn't see why the cops aren't searching for whoever took Mama. Why do they keep questioning him? He didn't have anything to do with her disappearance, but he does have secrets.Everyone deals with grief differently. Riley's father becomes a shell of himself hardly speaking to anyone and he won't make eye contact with Riley. Riley remembers Mama and how they learned a word a day from a calendar. Mama would make him use the word in a sentence and Riley continues the practice. He turns to "the whispers" to find his Mama.The Whispers has a favorite trope of all time: the unreliable narrator--ten, now eleven-year old, Riley. He has developed an alternative narrative where "...your head and your heart tell you a different story in order to protect you" (from the Author's Note). His memory loss is a break with reality and his coping method.The Whispers is my early pick for Best Middle Grade Book of the Year and are you listening, Bluebonnets? I believe this book will be a Texas Bluebonnet pick and other states will step up to the plate. This is a must have for all collections and a must read. The Whispers would be a great book to read as a class and the discussions would help so many kids.Highly, highly recommended and DO NOT MISS THIS ONE.Grades 5 and up. see all my reviews on my blog. Google Young Adult Books What We're Reading Now and Pamela Thompson
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  • Heather Hughes
    January 1, 1970
    I’d like to thank Penguin Random House for including me in the blog tour for Greg’s new release. My review is completely honest.Riley is a little boy that believes in magic, especially the Whispers. They are fairies that will grant wishes, just as long as you leave tributes. Naturally, as a young boy, he has a lot of wishes. What he wants is his mom back. She’s been gone for too long and he believes they are the only ones that can help him.The one thing that shocked me about this book is that Ri I’d like to thank Penguin Random House for including me in the blog tour for Greg’s new release. My review is completely honest.Riley is a little boy that believes in magic, especially the Whispers. They are fairies that will grant wishes, just as long as you leave tributes. Naturally, as a young boy, he has a lot of wishes. What he wants is his mom back. She’s been gone for too long and he believes they are the only ones that can help him.The one thing that shocked me about this book is that Riley is a gay character, especially at his young age. In my opinion, there is not enough of that in children’s literature, so it was nice and refreshing to see Riley’s character like this. He is an exceptional child and I absolutely loved his character growth and his imagination.Riley lives in a religious town in South Carolina and he is still trying to figure himself out. He is surrounded by homophobic comments, bullying and lack of inclusion. This is that typical town you might read about way back when that prefers a certain type of person. Riley stands above that in his own way. He has his own point of view and I just loved his mind.His adventure is from the viewpoint of his mind and it’s fascinating watching the adventure in this way. I had fun and I felt somewhat emotional reading this story. I don’t think it’s easy to find children’s literature like this nowadays. Especially back when I was growing up. What’s really a relief is that we are seeing a new evolution of children’s literature and I do feel like Greg’s new work will help bring children’s literature into a new light.As for young readers alone with this story, it might take some urging to get them interested in the story. However, from personal experience, young readers are getting smarter and The Whispers is a book that I’m sure they’ll pick up instantly.
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  • WhatBookNext .com
    January 1, 1970
    Riley loves his faithful old dog Tucker, his favourite TV show, Criminal Investigation Division: Chicago, and most of all his Mama. Mama laughs with him, shows him all the wonder in the world, and teaches him a new word every day.But Tucker has been off his food lately, and the local Police have been interrogating Riley. His Mama is gone. Riley’s dad hardly speaks to him anymore, and his big brother Danny is all teen anger and grunts. Riley believes they blame him for the hole Mama has left in t Riley loves his faithful old dog Tucker, his favourite TV show, Criminal Investigation Division: Chicago, and most of all his Mama. Mama laughs with him, shows him all the wonder in the world, and teaches him a new word every day.But Tucker has been off his food lately, and the local Police have been interrogating Riley. His Mama is gone. Riley’s dad hardly speaks to him anymore, and his big brother Danny is all teen anger and grunts. Riley believes they blame him for the hole Mama has left in their family, but he tries to deal with it as best he can. His bed-wetting doesn’t help or his other condition – he tried to kiss the boys in his class when he was younger.Mama once told him a story about The Whispers. They are a local legend – fairie-like creatures deep in the wood, that will grant you wishes if you give them something back. When Riley hears The Whispers’ voices one night, he knows he has to go and find his Mama.But camping far from the tree-line of the woods is dangerous. Everyone knows about the kid who vanished, and everyone knows who took him. The night Riley and his friends go into the woods reveals more than he has bargained for. He discovers truths so deep, he emerges a different boy.A beautiful but heart wrenching tale of a boy who is lost within his own town, home and family. His mother was everything and is gone. Riley is a funny, lonely, truthful, sad and real eleven-year-old, navigating the turmoils of growing up. The Whispers reminded me of, Stand by me, To Kill a Mockingbird, and my favourite ever – A Monster Calls, all rolled into one. Beautiful. Do read the Author’s note at the end – it will break your heart all over again.
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  • Bridgette
    January 1, 1970
    2.5ish starsThe jacket blurb is not really what this book is about, nor is the cover artwork. I thought it was going to be a portal fantasy, but it's definitely not. It's not even a fantasy, more like fabulism/magical realism. The pacing was slow and off in many parts for me and there were a few passages that I did not see the need for at all (like him noticing the commercial for Viagra on his grandparent's TV--it doesn't call it Viagra, it calls it the kissing pill, but it doesn't seem to serve 2.5ish starsThe jacket blurb is not really what this book is about, nor is the cover artwork. I thought it was going to be a portal fantasy, but it's definitely not. It's not even a fantasy, more like fabulism/magical realism. The pacing was slow and off in many parts for me and there were a few passages that I did not see the need for at all (like him noticing the commercial for Viagra on his grandparent's TV--it doesn't call it Viagra, it calls it the kissing pill, but it doesn't seem to serve a larger purpose). There were several things I definitely could've done without, like the fatphobia when talking about the detective, describing a straightjacket as something that holds the arms of a raving lunatic who is foaming at the mouth, and defining timid as acting like you don't have any balls. None of those really have any business being in a kidlit book. I really, really, really wanted to love this book. It's #ownvoices, plus it's got a gay MC where the story isn't about coming out and it's in MG. Middle Grade books need so much more LGBTQIAP+ rep and this is a welcome addition to that. That aspect is handled well (though it's heartbreaking to hear Riley call it a condition), and I did like that his fears about it were addressed. It was also good to see how Christianity played into how Riley viewed himself and how he believed others viewed him. The ending mostly makes up for its flaws. If you can make it through, the ending ties everything together, and Riley starts to heal and get closure.
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  • Laura Gardner
    January 1, 1970
    The Whispers is about a boy named Riley who wants to find the mythical creatures known as the Whispers so he can wish for his missing mother to return home. Riley is an anxious, sad boy with two conditions he keeps secret -- he wets the bed every night and he identifies as gay and was caught by his mother kissing a boy months prior. Riley's father is distant, his grandparents are bereft with the loss of their daughter and his brother is mean. Riley must rely on himself, his dog Tucker, his best The Whispers is about a boy named Riley who wants to find the mythical creatures known as the Whispers so he can wish for his missing mother to return home. Riley is an anxious, sad boy with two conditions he keeps secret -- he wets the bed every night and he identifies as gay and was caught by his mother kissing a boy months prior. Riley's father is distant, his grandparents are bereft with the loss of their daughter and his brother is mean. Riley must rely on himself, his dog Tucker, his best friend Gary, his handsome neighbor Dylan, and his memories to try and solve the mystery of his missing mother. If he finds the Whispers and gives them a tribute, can he get his heart's desire, to be reunited with his mother?I simply loved this slow burn of a book and I know several students who will love it, too. Riley's feelings about his sexual identity is tied up in his religious upbringing. Shame figures in his emotions in a realistic way and adds an extra layer of complexity to the story. Riley is an unreliable narrator and student readers will likely discover the truth about his mother before Riley does. An author's note at the end sheds light on his own experience with childhood trauma and offers resources.
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  • Piper Mejia
    January 1, 1970
    It is difficult for anyone, let alone children, to talk about loss. It is an emotion we hold close so that we can keep going day after day. In Greg Howard’s novel The Whispers, eleven-year-old Riley’s life is already difficult before his mother disappears; he is being bullied at school and has a crush on an older boy. Unable to talk to his father, and feeling let down by the police, Riley decides to go in search of the magical fairies his mother told him about; fairies that will grant his wishes It is difficult for anyone, let alone children, to talk about loss. It is an emotion we hold close so that we can keep going day after day. In Greg Howard’s novel The Whispers, eleven-year-old Riley’s life is already difficult before his mother disappears; he is being bullied at school and has a crush on an older boy. Unable to talk to his father, and feeling let down by the police, Riley decides to go in search of the magical fairies his mother told him about; fairies that will grant his wishes if only he leaves them a worthy enough tribute.The Whispers explores the role of escapism as a way for young people to come to terms with experiences beyond their ability to resolve. Howard’s choice of a less familiar protagonist, dealing with familiar coming-of-age issues, reflects the needs of a wider community of young readers. This is a story that reminds us that we often blame ourselves for events out of our control and that emotional healing begins with self-acceptance.
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  • Czechgirl
    January 1, 1970
    I thought this book was going to be magical realism. That is how well Howard set the book up for the reader. Character development is the strongest element of this book. You will hold on to Riley for days. To me, the book is very Newbery worthy, but I’m not seeing a lot of “talk” about the book. This is not right. The book is going on my favorites list. A book like this doesn’t come around but once in a while.
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  • Courtney
    January 1, 1970
    This was a beautifully written middle grade novel about discovering yourself, facing hard truths and overcoming grief. I won’t lie I did shed a few tears towards the end, but managed reign it in. The mystery of Riley’s mothers disappearance had me guessing the entire time and was completely compelling.
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  • Dave Baker
    January 1, 1970
    Wow one if the most outstanding books I have ever read. As a middle school principal, I witnessed many children go through traumatic experiences. This book affirms that it is okay for them to feel whatever they are feeling. And it is up to us, the adults in their lives, to be there for them while they are feeling.
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  • Yapha
    January 1, 1970
    I really wanted to like this book. It deals with some very important topics. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get past all of the southern euphemisms. I hope that it will reach it's intended audience. ARC provided by publisher
  • Juliana B.
    January 1, 1970
    The Whispers was overall a good book even though it was a bit slow paced at times. The story behind the whispers is pretty cool. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes books in the fantasy genre.
  • Tim Matheney
    January 1, 1970
    Very touching. The references to life in the South resonated with my memories of my mother and grandmother who were born in Tennessee. The book should definitely appear on the list of best YA books of 2019.
  • Abby
    January 1, 1970
    4.5
  • Jodi Henry
    January 1, 1970
    This book is beautifully written, heartbreaking and hopeful. And I think everyone should read it.
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