Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Thursday, November 6, 2014

"hey, dummy" by Kin Platt

At the risk of dumbfounding Anonymous again, I've read another book that was Not Written For Adults. Just to be clear, I am fully aware that it was Not Written For Adults. And I am also clear that I am generally considered An Adult. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, may we begin?

I picked this book up (for free!) at the ever-remarkable Friends of the Library bookstore in Los Alamos. (I think that's one of my favorite places! Good thing I only visit once or twice a year--otherwise I might have to move out of my house, displaced by books.) Theoretically, I chose it for Bookworm Child (who did read it, months ago) but I hung onto it out of a curiosity which I satisfied in my spare time over the past two days.

I'd read other books by Kin Platt back when I was Not An Adult (I have fond memories of Chloris and the Weirdos) but this book was a bit more edgy. It's the story of a 12-year-old boy named Neil Comstock who (kind of, sort of) befriends a boy from his school who is mentally handicapped. It's a fast read, and more thought-provoking than I expected (not a bad thing), although some of those thoughts involved how unlikely Neil's angry, snarling parents seemed, and how the bipolarity of Neil's teacher didn't make that character seem well-rounded so much as it made him seem made up. (Yeah, I know he was made up, but I don't like seeing the seams in the story. Fool me effortlessly, please! I want to become a part of the books I read without having to force my way in. That's not too much to ask, even of a book Not Written For Adults.)

I'd given myself permission to not write about this book if I got to the end and found I had nothing to say, but when I actually reached the end of the book, the completist in me wouldn't let it go. (Plus, as you know, I did think of a few things to say). Anyway, I need the record so I can know if it's worth re-reading someday. The verdict: it's short enough that it wouldn't hurt to read it again, especially if I have someone with whom I can discuss it and pick it apart. But the weight of my TBR pile--and all of the superior books (For Adults!!) on it--prevent me from the certain knowledge that I will revisit it.

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