The Fort. Gordon Korman. 2022. 256 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: I get stuck with Ricky the morning after the big storm.
Premise/plot: Five boys--four of them being the best of friends before the big storm--discover a hidden underground 'doomsday' bunker in the woods after a big storm destroys their own (puny by comparison) fort. This middle grade coming of age novel has five alternating characters: Evan Donnelly, Mitchell Worth, Ricky Molina, C.J. Sciutto, and Jason Brax. This underground 'fort' has electricity, an old school television and VCR, and forty-plus year old canned goods. The boys are ecstatic, thrilled, and empowered. The fort comes to mean something to each and every boy, but, for some the fort means something even more significant: a safe refuge from an abusive home.
This coming of age novel has its own problems in the sense that it is your somewhat traditional "problem" novel. The conflicts are realistic and complex. Each boy his his own struggles or burdens to carry. But what I loved was the friendship element of this one. How the boys rally around and support one another.
My thoughts: As an adult, I found this a heart-breaking read in some aspects. I just wanted to reach out and hug the characters. I do think it is realistic and relatable. I would hope to a certain extent or degree that readers would be reminded to be kind. You can never tell what the person next to you is struggling with in their own lives--in their own private, personal lives. You don't know the weight on their shoulders.
I did love it. I loved the characterization. I loved the story. Definitely recommended.
© 2022 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews