Monday, March 05, 2007

black swan green by David Mitchel

Mitchell is British and the many British phrases will be a road block for teens who might try to read this book. It reminds me of Bradbury's Dandelion Wine and McCammon's Boy's Life. This is one year in the life of a teenaged boy. Each chapter is an episode, not necessarily neatly wrapped up for the reader. Jason is a bit of a misfit, always one step behind the latest trends, more interested in writing and school than many of the kids his age. He stutters. He is subjected to nearly endless bullying as is the one kid he prefers as his friend, but is afraid to show it. The bullies are, unfortunately, teachers' pets and they are blind to what is going on. Jason's parents have problems and no real time for him. His sister is popular, bright and involved in her own life so he is pretty much on his own. Apparently a sometimes cool teacher leaves a well placed article on bullying out where Jason finds it when on an errand for the teacher. Keeping that article in mind, Jason finally takes control of his situation with surprising results. Anyone who has ever been bullied will appreciate this story if they stick with it. This was selected a best book for teens for 2006.

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