This novel will warm your heart. It speaks volumes without really saying much. I learned lots of trivia facts from Wayne and like Wayne I learned that sometimes you don’t have to speak to say something. There are other ways to communicate that are just as effective as speaking. Wayne was a unique twelve-year old boy in my eyes. He liked to memorize trivia facts. He thought these quick facts helped him fill-in uncomfortable gaps when he was talking with people, he also used them to make people laugh or to distract them, he could hide behind them and he could use them to change the subject in an uncomfortable situation. These facts were an important tool for Wayne. As I read this book, I learned some of Wayne’s interesting facts and I learned how he used them. Wayne also was full of questions and he feels that his questions about life outnumber the answers that he has. I liked the openness of Wayne, his life was an open book, he shared his life and his feelings honestly and this was Wayne Before.
Unfortunately, Wayne’s Uncle Reed dies and the family must wait to give him the burial they feel he deserves. The time comes and the family is finally notified that it’s time for his burial in Arlington Cemetery. It’s an emotional time for everyone. After the ceremony, Grandpa needs time alone so he drives home separately. Wayne and his mother are flying home in a plane. The plane does not make it back and it goes down, killing some individuals onboard. Wayne and mother both have injuries but survive the disaster, this is Wayne After. Wayne can’t talk or eat solid food until his injuries have healed; the trivia and questioning Wayne are now silent. Wayne must find another way to communicate effectively. The scars that are visible on the outside of Wayne are just a small portion of what is happening in the life of After Wayne. This was a wonderful story that I really enjoyed.