The Enlightened Life: A community blog

Reading Reflections: A book review on June Bug

Written by Emilie Smetak, Community blogger | Jun 9, 2012 1:29 PM

In his compelling masterpiece, June Bug, Chris Fabry wonderfully combines love, suspense, humor, and compassion all within the same story. Charles Martin, author of Where the River Ends, praises this book by saying, "Masterful. An honest story that lingered long after I turned the last page." Lisa Samson, writer of Quaker Summer, also endorsed June Bug. Her comment is, "Well written and bursting with life." Critics from all over the writing world agree that June Bug is a one of a kind story, offering a unique outlook on life which has never been analyzed in literature before. Readers enthusiastically agreed.

From the moment I turned the first page, I knew June Bug was something special. The story revolves around a young girl, named June Bug, who travels around the nation with her father in their dilapidated RV. All is going well until the RV decides not to run and they are stranded in a Wal-Mart parking lot for several days. June Bug uses this delay as an opportunity to inspect Wal-Mart's merchandise. It is during one of these excursions that she comes across her picture hanging in the missing bulletin. Underneath her picture is her real name-Natalie. As she stares at her own image behind the glass case, she starts to question her biological connection with her 'father.' A spark is ignited, sending June Bug on a quest for truth.

Probably the most influential question June Bug proposes to the reader is 'What does it mean to be a person's real father or mother?' Near the middle of the story, June Bug ponders the same question and recollects listening to a talk radio station, which was discussing the same idea. The radio host concluded that a true parent does not necessarily share biological ties with the child, but cares for and nurtures him like he is their own. But if that is the case then why does June Bug strive to find her true birth parents? A few answers have been offered, including that June Bug senses the lack of a motherly figure and wants to settle down to a normal life outside of what the RV can offer. Although I believe these answers are correct, I believe the true underlying reason comes from the unseverable feelings associated with biological parents. Nobody can ever imagine that the reasons for separation are not always honorable. As a result, a person goes through unspeakable measures in hopes of restoring that broken relationship. But as June Bug later discovers in a tear jerking and thought provoking conclusion, biology is not what makes someone a true parent. And perhaps this realization is what makes the story so bitter-sweet.

June Bug proposes many more great discussion questions and is a very worthwhile read. For these couple hundred of pages, the reader can see life through a totally different perspective then ever before—through the eyes of a girl, who discovers that truth will always set you free, but never promises a fairy tale ending.

Published in The Enlightened Life: A community blog

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