This slim book is about two fourth-grade best friends who decide they want/need something of their own to care for, so they jointly buy a gecko whom they name Matylda. In the course of normal adventuring, one of the friends is killed in an auto-bicycle accident while trying to keep the other one from ha
This book is the story of their friendship and how the surviving friend comes to terms with the tragedy.
The story is well-told and -written in an economical, affecting way. You generally forget this is about ten-year-olds. A summing-up statement by the surviving friend is way beyond what a kid that age would realize and articulate, thereby bumping the book up into a YA recommendation. As with all good children’s literature, people of all ages could appreciate this book.
No sex, no bad language, no violence. The surviving child does turn into a shoplifter, though, and pages detail how she goes about it.
Don’t read the Acknowledgements section at the end. It inserts the author’s personality in a way that clashes with the somewhat spare and restrained tone of the novel itself.