The things that make this book tough aren't big words, complex structure, or anything like that. At first, we think we're reading a nice, straightforward text about friendship and imagination amongst elementary school students. Later, though, bad things happen and the characters – and us as readers – have to address some really weighty issues: death, loss, and grief. Don't be embarrassed if you tear up by the end of this book. Shmoop's eyes weren't dry either.