For this week’s Free Friday I chose a book that I read a long time ago but has stuck out in my memory. A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin is a fantastic read. It is funny, intriguing, and tragic all in the same breath. In it we meet Hattie, a young girl who has lived a very different life from the rest of us. She grew up living in a small town in a boarding house run by her parents. She meets many people, all who have very different, eccentric qualities. But she was unprepared for a visitor that would change her whole perspective on life. Her uncle Adam, a 21 year old, mentally disabled man, comes to live with her grandparents and until that summer, Hattie didn’t really know anything about him. Throughout the book we see her exploring her relationship with Adam and questioning the ones that he has with his parents and sister, Hattie’s mom. At the end of the book, unfortunately, Adam kills himself and while that is horribly tragic I still think that it is a book worth reading. I would recommend it to middle school age children. It teaches important lessons about seeing past other people’s differences and getting to know someone for who they are on the inside. Our current culture is pervasive in pointing out the “other” but I believe that this book does a great job in showing that being the “other” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It makes you unique and special and gives you the ability to share a new perspective with those around you. All in all it’s a wonderful book that deserves to be shared for years to come.