Friday, December 31, 2010

The 10 p.m. Question review

Description: Twelve-year-old Frankie Parsons is a talented kid with a quirky family, a best friend named Gigs, and a voice of anxiety constantly nibbling in his head: Could that kidney-shaped spot on his chest be a galloping cancer? Are the smoke alarm batteries flat? Has his cat, The Fat Controller, given them all worms? Only Ma, who never leaves home, takes Frankie’s worries seriously. But then, it is Ma who is the cause of the most troubling question of all, the one Frankie can never bring himself to ask. When a new girl arrives at school--a daring free spirit with unavoidable questions of her own--Frankie’s carefully guarded world begins to unravel, leading him to a painful confrontation with the ultimate 10 p.m. question. Deftly told with humor, poignancy, and an endearing cast of characters, THE 10 P.M. QUESTION will touch everyone who has ever felt set apart. Worry-prone Frankie keeps his family secret under control--until a bold, inquisitive girl enters his life--in this warm, witty, and captivating YA novel.

My thoughts: This is not what I expected. I thought this book was about how the new girl shakes up everything, and she does but not in the way I thought. She helps change important issues that aren’t often explored in young children’s books. The wonderful thing about this book’s message is that it isn’t forced; it shows up silently half way through the book and refuses to leave. 

What made the message stick is that you won’t be pounded with not so subliminal subliminal messages.  The story was packed full with other quirky aspects, like a secret language, four obese but really interesting aunts, and a main character who can name more birds than some ornithologist could. May favorite part was the way people were compared to birds. It was so surprising how easily the characters seemed to fit the characteristics of birds. It made me wonder what kind of bird I am. Overall, it was a sweet and quick read full of relatable topics that shows why it deserved to be a finalist in the Montana book awards.

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