I have been trying to get my hands on this book for years. Years. In the end, I just ordered a copy for myself for Christmas, confident I wouldn't regret my purchase. And I don't.
I will be reading this book out loud to my children.
It is a thing of brilliance. It wears the shiny sticker for good reason.
My only hope is that your library has a copy, if you're not quite committed to forking out funds up front. Failing that, fork the funds.
- It is so wholesome. Butts are called "you-know-whats."
- And it feels so right that they are, because the conservative young protagonist and narrator's voice is not delivered in retrospect, but as a conservative young protagonist in the 60's.
- For historical fiction, it is much more colourful, funny and engaging than you might expect. The words "historical fiction" make me squirm a little. If they do that to you, know that this text is incredibly enriched for it, not made dull.
- It is like The Wonder Years, only brilliant...and like I say, not told in flashback...
- ...it feels like you are part of something live being shared with you, as though a seventh-grader dictated his journal entries to someone, and now you are reading the transcript. And laughing.
- I respect an author who can make every day things seem extraordinary and compelling. It helps that the writing is fantastic.
- The characters are so very very strong.
- Everything isn't peachy in the portrait painted. But unlike some other texts (where I think, "Why is this content in here?!"), there is a clear, exquisitely-delivered moral about the negative undercurrents presented (and these negatives presented tactfully -- unlike the adultery reference in The Princess Bride -- which is never countered, linked to a villain, or noted as immoral).
- I think this novel appeals just as well to a discerning 10-year-old as an adult (and all in between).
Janssen, thank you recommending it...and recommending it.