"The Bridge of Little Jeremy" by Indrajit Garai

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A physically weakened 12 year-old boy, an artist, a hero, and a very conscientious son, narrates his adventures from Paris, where he lives with his mom and his German Shepherd Leon. Little Jeremy might not be the biggest boy for his age, but his courage, determination, and thoughtfulness prove him worthy of love and admiration. This novel contains the straightforward telling, though Jeremy’s own words, of the tortuous journey of his conscience. It’s a remarkable, dreamy telling, without tricks of plot or temporality, showing us the perils and rewards of growing up with artistic talent and an abiding love for one’s mother.
Indrajit Garai has written the tale, and displays a close familiarity with the Île de la cité and the Île St Louis in Paris. It appears also that he wrote the story in English, since no translator is given credit. That likely led to the basic and unadorned, but sweet and heartfelt style of this narrative. I congratulate Mr. Garai on writing from the point of view of a twelve year-old artist: it works wonderfully throughout.
Little Jeremy has had several operations on his heart because of a faulty valve. This misfortune means that he does not attend school and can roam about his home neighborhood with Leon. Like any neighborhood, it has its perils, human and otherwise. A fair amount happens to Jeremy during the few months of this story; some of it makes him a celebrated hero for a time.
He attacks a tormentor of his mother, firing a damaging missile with a slingshot. He rescues a baby locked in a car; discovers a work of art secreted away in a basement; as he researches the artist he unearths a hidden past impinging on his own mother and her economic wellbeing. Bravely he juggles these vicissitudes, all the while keeping his mother’s, his friends’, and his dog’s best interests at heart.
I have mentioned this is a dream-like tale. Its language gently carries the reader along, while it shows Jeremy’s nature: he is giving, contemplative, and artistic. His thoughts range a wide variety of issues, always in a methodical and balanced way. Good things happen to Jeremy during this story, and these things affect his loved ones for the better.

If you are interested in the trials of a sensitive, artistic Parisian boy about to step into his teen years, The Bridge of Little Jeremy is definitely a rewarding journey.