What happens when we die? This is an age-old question that Mitch Albom gives a creative, compelling, and emotional answer to in his novel. This book is a great way to stir the imaginations of students, and to cover a topic that many kids encounter too soon: death and the afterlife.
Illustrate the evolution of characters in The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Eddie's Traits: 83-year old gentleman, dutifully maintaining rides at Ruby Pier; walks in pain from an old injury; keeps to himself
Eddie's Traits: Feels young again in Heaven and not in pain; then the old injury comes back; confused; can’t figure out why he is there; guilty
I'll let it go now, all right? All right? Can we let it go?
Eddie's Traits: Eddie is old and feeling like he did at the time of his death on earth again; sad; lonely; despairing
Eddie's Traits: Hopeful; peaceful; enlightened
Eddie's Traits: Enlightened; pain-free; at home
Eddie is a widower who lost his wife when she was only 47 years old. He took over the maintenance job at Ruby Pier after his father’s death, which he blames his father for. He has a knee injury that bothers him from the war
Eddie transitions from childhood to his time as a soldier. He learns many lessons: he accidentally killed the Blue Man; his Captain shot his leg; and he learns he needs to let his anger and hatred toward his father go.
Eddie has just learned that love never dies from Marguerite, but then she has left him again. He misses her. He sees Tala, and he discovers that he accidentally killed her; he is devastated, and feels like he didn’t do anything with his life.
Tala reveals to Eddie that it was no accident that he worked at Ruby Pier; he was supposed to be there, and that because of his work, he kept many children safe. In doing so, he has made up for what he did to Tala.
Now that Eddie has learned all that he needs to learn, he feels free and filled with understanding about his life. He is reunited with Marguerite, and he is now waiting in line to greet Amy or Annie when she arrives.