The Apple Tart of Hope
Author: Sarah Moore Fitzgerald
Grade(s): 6; 7
*Teacher Pick for 7th Grade
Fourteen-year-old Oscar Dunleavy is missing, presumed dead. His bike was found at sea, out past the end of the pier, and everyone in town seems to have accepted this as a teenage tragedy. But Oscar’s best friend Meg knows he isn’t dead. Oscar is an optimistic and kind boy who bakes the world’s best apple tarts; he would never kill himself, and Meg is going to prove it.
Through interwoven narratives, the reader learns what really happened to Oscar. His sweet life had turned sour after Meg’s family moved away. Though Meg didn’t know it, Oscar had a manipulative bully plaguing him with toxic humiliation. Meg must confront the painful truth of Oscar’s past six months―and the possibility that he might really be gone. Surrounded by grief and confusion, she starts to put the pieces back together. This story of love and friendship reminds us to keep hope in our hearts.