This week was a Top Ten Freebie in other words we could pick an old list and do it or redo it. So I picked Top Ten Books That Made You Cry. Note there are SPOILERS in this post.
Seriously my tee was damp from crying. This was my most recent sob fest. When my husband asked what was wrong and I showed him the book he looked at me and said “Really? Cancer? And you thought it would NOT make you cry?”
Given the story and the tiny bit of resemblance to out lives, this one really hit home. My older daughter was born with one kidney and this made me wonder what we would ever do if she need another.
The waiting and the tragic dying. The only reason this is not rated higher in the tissue box ranking is the mild creepy of older Henry and younger Clare.
Charlie Gordon, oh how my heart breaks for you. And that ending where all you want is for someone to put flowers on Algernon’s grave, sobbing now.
A student gave me a copy of this once. It still makes me cry every time I read it. I have a hard time reading it to my girls because this part gets me every time:
“‘Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.'”
“I can still tend the rabbits, George? I didn’t mean no harm, George.”
This one only gets three tissue boxes because mostly it was horrifically depressing which is not the same as crying always. But when they reach the sea and then The Man gets sick, the tears started to flow.
Any of them, pick one. Need a list?
The Fir Tree = Cut down, abandoned, cut into pieces and burned
The Ice-Maiden = Our Hero drowns the night before his wedding
The Little Match Girl = Dies in the cold because she is afraid to go home and be beaten by her father
The Little Mermaid = Throws herself into the sea and becomes foam because she has no soul after the prince marries someone else
The Steadfast Tin Soldier = melts into a lump of tin and the ballerina burns up in the fire
I had an argument once with a friend about how sad the end of The House at Pooh Corner was. He didn’t believe me. I made him read the end in the middle of the bookstore. So he read this and I won.
“Then, suddenly again, Christopher Robin, who was Still
looking at the world with his chin in his hands, called out
“Yes?” said Pooh.
“When I’m–when– Pooh!”
“Yes, Christopher Robin?”
“I’m not going to do Nothing any more.”
“Well, not so much. They don’t let you.”
Pooh waited for him to go on, but he was silent again.
“Yes, Christopher Robin?” said Pooh helpfully.
“Pooh, when I’m–you know–when I’m not doing Nothing, will you come up here sometimes?”
“Will you be here too?”
“Yes, Pooh, I will be really. I promise I will be, Pooh.”
“That’s good,” said Pooh.
“Pooh, promise you won’t forget about me, ever. Not even when I’m a hundred.”
Pooh thought for a little.
“How old shall I be then?”
“I promise,” he said.
Still with his eyes on the world Christopher Robin put out a hand and felt for Pooh’s paw.
“Pooh,” said Christopher Robin earnestly, “if I–if I’m not quite” he stopped and tried again –“. Pooh, whatever happens, you will understand, won’t you?”
“Oh, nothing.” He laughed and jumped to his feet. “Come on!”
“Where?” said Pooh.
“Anywhere,” said Christopher Robin.
So they went off together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.