Chaim Potok and The Sky of Now

I’ve mentioned briefly in other posts that Chaim Potok is one of my favorite authors.  As I’ve read most of his work prior to blogging, I haven’t mentioned him as much as I’d like.  From somewhere in the deep dark basement of the Cincinnati Public Library, I managed to get one of his two books for younger children, The Sky of Now.

Cover art for THE SKY OF NOW

It’s been a while since I’ve read this type of childrens book as my kids have moved on to books for older kids and even at times adult books; however, that didn’t stop me from reading The Sky of Now and enjoying it – both the story and the pictures (by illustrator Tony Auth).

Brian lives in New York City (not uncommom for Potok characters) and is preparing for his tenth birthday.  His parents take him to the top of the Statue of Liberty.  When he looks down, he realizes that being up high is frightening. 

(Author Chaim Potok)

At home he has two clay models of a clown and a pilot whom he talks to – and they talk back.  This part of the book was great as no explanation needed to be given that these were imaginary friends – they just started talking.  When Brian explains his fear, the clown manages to come up with the profound notion:  “You’re only nine – you’ll grow out of it”.

For his birthday, Brian’s Uncle Conor, a pilot, gives him a wonderful birthday present that helps him overcome his fear.

This may not be the type of book many adults would enjoy but it only took me ten minutes to read it and I found it to be well worth the time.  To complete Potok’s work, I need to read his other childrens book and his two non-fiction books -something to add to my reading goals for the future.  Rereading some of his adult novels might not be a bad idea either.


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