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10th Grade

When my good friend moved to NYC I was allowed the cherrypick the books he was getting rid of and take a few home for myself. I grabbed this one because of the cover, and because I have always enjoyed the bildungsroman genre.

This book is solidly in the middle of the books I have read in that vein. It lacks the true voice of Adrian Mole, and yet the main character does not have any final comeuppance as in Lord of the Barnyard. Basically he’s an okay kid, not a total nerd, whose parents are weird and not awful who gets along with one sister but not the other. It’s not the “geek gets a life” tale that many of these books are. The kids grows up some, not much, he does fine. He stays in touch with some friends and loses others. Nothing super deep happens. In short, it’s a lot like high school. And, since I lived through it, reading about someone else’s high school adventures is slightly dull. Weisman does a good job at capturing a good teen voice, but then he drops the ball by including teen punctuation which can make parts of this book tough to read. I never totally buy the teen narrator, but you don’t have to in order to enjoy this story.