Last month I wrote about the few books that made me laugh. But when I thought about books that made me cry, several came to mind straight away.
These three teary book moments took me completely by surprise at the time. I was following the story without a worry in the world, and then suddenly, bam! A truck full of emotion hit me.
It was awkward, too, because I was actually reading each of the books out loud to someone 😳.
Pause…steady the voice…blink…keep reading…
Never fear, no spoilers here 😉.
1. A dog with an impossible dream
“Without a how, without a why, Sid fell up towards the sky.”
Some Dogs Do, by Jez Alborough, 2003.
For all ages.
Sid the dog discovers he can fly. But when he tells his school mates and teacher, they convince him it’s impossible. Sid’s joy turns to bewildered sadness, but just when hope seems gone forever, someone who loves him lends a hand.
It’s a heartstring-tugging story told in rhyme (love a good rhyme). I can still recite most of this though I haven’t read it to my kids for years.
I cried at: “Do dogs fly? Is it true?” (argh, I’m crying now, typing this!)
2. Aussie sheep want to party at the palace
“He’s cute, he’s cuddly, he’s nine pounds ten. So what are you waiting for? Visit him, then!”
Tonight in the Palace, by Andrew McDonough, 2010.
For all ages.
At the first Christmas, the sheep gallop away to the palace to find the new baby king, planning the fun they’ll have on their visit. A comical, rollicking rhyme (I do love good rhymes!) from the Australian Lost Sheep series.
It has a poignant twist that continues to touch me each Christmas when I read it (and yes, the tears return each time, too). There’s eternal truth in the idea of the king coming into the world so humbly and yet being the one person we should all rush to find.
I cried the second time the book says: “He’s cute, he’s cuddly, he’s nine pounds ten.”
3. Modern fantasy classic that needs no introduction
“Do you see, Harry? Do you see the flaw in my brilliant plan now? I had fallen into the trap I had foreseen, that I had told myself I could avoid, that I must avoid.”
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J K Rowling, 2003
I’d suggest 10+
The baddest of all baddies is back, and now Hogwarts is under the Ministry’s unpleasant thumb, Harry is up to his ears in trouble and Dumbledore won’t give him the time of day.
This was the thickest Harry Potter book yet but nobody seemed to mind. Kids everywhere ate up the 700+ pages without a complaint.
I cried when Dumbledore explains to Harry why he wasn’t made a prefect: “I must confess…that I rather thought…you had enough responsibility to be going on with.”
Disclaimer: The opinions in this post are mine, current at the date of publication, shared for entertainment purposes, and may change in the future. The books I write about are for adults unless stated, though some of them could be okay for younger readers. This post contains no affiliate links, only links to things I like 😊