Far From Fair
“Far From Fair” by Elana K. Arnold is a sad, yet hopeful (and totally beautiful) read that everyone should try and get their hands on. It covers some more mature topics such as loss, special needs, and illness, so you might want to read this one with a parent if you think it might be a little hard to read. We’re sure mom and dad would love to cuddle up and share a story with you.
Odette has a list of Things That Aren’t Fair. At the top of the list? Her parents decided to sell the house, stuff the entire family and most of their belongings in an ugly RV (aka “The Coach”), and leave their familiar life in California – all without even considering Odette’s opinion on the matter. To make things worse, she has to leave her best friend behind, spend an entire road trip in the car with her brother Rex, her dad lost his job on purpose, her parents aren’t really getting along, her family got rid of all but one of the cellphones, her dad gave her the wrong type of dog, and her grandmother is extremely sick.
The book follows Odette and her family on a road trip to Orcas Island to visit her sick Grandma Sissy. Along the way, they must learn to face the realities of their situation and decide what is most important to them. Odette must learn patience and understanding to deal with all of these unfair circumstances, to accept her brother’s “furies”, and to face her life with a positive outlook, even when things aren’t so great. During the trip, Odette bonds with Grandma Sissy, and learns a valuable lesson in dealing with hard times. Grandma Sissy understands how helpless Odette feels when it seems like her life is spinning out of control, and offers advice on how to deal with these “unfair” circumstances and how to separate the small mishaps to the larger circumstances that are sometimes out of our control.
Despite the sad themes throughout the book, it’s handled in a very hopeful and sincere way. It will most likely make you cry, but it will also make you feel better, and even change the way you see the world when things seem unfair in your own life. “Far From Fair” reminds us that it’s okay to to be sad and angry when bad things happen to us, but to not lose our optimism, sense of humor, and good spirits along the way. With family and friends by your side, things will always get better, and just remember – “even in the bad…there is opportunity for good.”