TOP 5 FRIDAY: Deaths
There’s nothing better than a good story – one that makes you fall in love with the heroes and heroines despite all their faults. But the trauma of their deaths is something hard to get over … This week, Laura Myers shares five of the most memorable deaths in children’s books – WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILERS ALERT!
1. SIRIUS BLACK in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling
The first significant death in Harry Potter – who didn’t cry when Sirius fell through the veil? Harry’s passionate reaction was painful to read, but Lupin’s restrained grief was the killer for me. Just when Harry had a father figure in his life, he was cruelly snatched away. And those last words were not fit to be the last words of someone so brave and loyal … *sob*
2. AUGUSTUS WATERS in The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Augustus’ death was, in a word, harrowing. It was all the more painful because it was so real – agonizing and unheroic (in the traditional sense of the word). I put the book down and cried for a full twenty minutes because of that line: ‘The only person I really wanted to talk to about Augustus Waters’ death was Augustus Waters.’
3. CALLUM MCGREGOR in Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
One of the most traumatic scenes I read as a child, Callum’s hanging left me reeling. They did it … they actually did it. And Sephy’s agony at not knowing whether Callum had heard her professions of love was utterly heart-wrenching. If only he hadn’t gone to the rose gardens …
4. MANCHEE in The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
So sweet, so loyal, so innocent. When I think of Manchee, I can see his puzzled eyes, hear his questioning thoughts, his yelps. One of the few fictional animal deaths that has reduced me to tears, Manchee’s sacrifice will never be forgotten.
5. RABBIT in I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Not a sad death, but memorable all the same. They say a picture can tell a thousand words, and that’s never been more true than the antepenultimate page in I Want My Hat Back. He totally had it coming, and I’m not ashamed to say that this one made me laugh.