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The Declaration

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Jo Knowles knows how to make you cry

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Photo Credit: Tani Popoola
See you at Harry’s by Jo Knowles

Being emotionally invested in a fictional story really hits hard. See you at Harry’s by Jo Knowles is a beautiful story about a 12-year old girl named Fern who lives with her Mom and Dad who own an ice cream company. Her brothers Holden, 14, and Charlie, 3, and sister Sara, 18, make a huge impact in how she lives her life.

Jo Knowles wrote this book based on her life. She was growing up with family restaurant that happened to be an ice cream factory called Keller’s where she happened to serve a lot of different celebrities. In 2006, she released her first novel to Candlewick Press called Lessons from a Dead Girl. In college she took a literary course which helped her on her course to be an author. Some other books she wrote are Pearl, Jumping off Swings, Read Between the Lines and Living with Jacky Chan.

Their family isn’t the normal cookie cutter suburban living family. For one, all the children are named after characters in one of their mom’s favorite books. Fern, who is named after a character from Charlotte’s Web, is simple and is a normal sixth grader who as a crush on her best friend Random Smith. Weird name right? Holden is named after his mom’s favorite book of all time, Catcher in the Rye and is starting high school with new experiences. He’s homosexual and unhappy with the way his family addresses it and only speaks to Fern about his problems. Charlie was named after Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  being he is a courageous and playful for a three year old. Sara is taking a gap year after high school to help her parents at their restaurant. She is also named after someone very close to her parents heart, “The little princess.” When she was younger that is what she acted like.

One day tragedy occurred. Fern was watching her brother and he hit his head on the ground. They thought everything was fine because he went to sleep fine and he was playing with them before he went to bed. The next morning he didn’t wake up. Fern blamed herself everyday for the death of her brother. Even though it wasn’t technically her fault, she felt responsible for her brother dying.

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When you first look at this book, you would think that it would be about a milkshake company that was failing and they needed to revive it. This is only based on what the cover makes the book seems about. This is why the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is relevant to not only people but books. This book uncovers what true love really is about. Not only the love you feel with a boyfriend or girlfriend or wife and husband but the family type love. The unconditional love that you are supposed to have for your family is what this book really teaches about. Mother to children relationships and sibling to sibling type of relationship. Best friend relationships are very prominent in this story as well between Fern and her best friend Random Smith.

Reading this book could possibly make you cry hysterically like a baby because I did and I usually am not a crier. So get the tissues ready for this page turning great read.

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About the Contributor
Tani Popoola, Fall Reporter
Tanitoluwa (Tani) Popoola, a sophomore at Colonia High school, was born on August 17, 2000.  Popoola loves to sleep, eat, and sing the most. She also likes to go shopping but doesn’t always have the money to do so. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to East Orange NJ where she lived until she was two years old when she moved to Avenel, NJ. Both of her parents are pastors at the church  Christian Breakthrough Fellowship International Ministries where her mom also teaches the younger children.When she is not at home, she’s usually at church. At church she is part of a dance team and helps celebrates events and make them memorable she also sings and helps with the engineering department. Every year the youth department goes on a retreat and it is always a great experience. She lives with her parents and two little brothers. Her dad is a dialysis technician and her mom is in school to get a higher license in nursing. Her two little brothers are 12 and 9 and all they do is play video games and go outside. Popoola is very family oriented and has always been. Her family is extremely close even with the relatives from Nigeria. She participates in Colonia’s winter and spring track which is coached by her English teacher Coach Quick. She doesn't any other sports because she's simply just better at running. She's 5'4 and full of energy at all times and her friends call her crazy but its all in love. "Fun size people have so much more fun"- Is her saying and she stands by it firmly!

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The student news site of Colonia High School
Jo Knowles knows how to make you cry