Through gradual revelations we come to understand the emotional importance of the donkey to Louie, who misses his older brother in the army, and to a neighbouring girl, Nora, who has suffered loss.
This is about learning to trust that things will work out even if you are afraid that they will not. And about giving up what needs to be given up for the protection of others. It may be set in a small town elsewhere, but it resonates for the here and now.
Creech, an American who lived in England for years, but is now based in Maine, unfolds beautifully this simple, economically told story that points to the need for children to nurture — and the healing power of animals. It’s ee-awesome.