There’s nothing wrong with reading children’s books in fact when the kids were younger I tried reading books before passing them to them so we could talk about it, or I could answer their questions if they had any. That kind of stopped when No 1 went through his Lee Child phase (20 book people… 20… that Jack Reacher is a busy man, let me tell you).
These days two of them don’t read anything that’s not on a cereal box or it’s longer than a hashtag and the third one still does but slightly under duress. He’s extremely fussy and only agrees to read books recommended by Barbara, the children book guru in our local branch of Waterstones (Cheltenham). If Barbara says it’s good… then he reads it.
Hey, he reads, why should I get offended that my baby puts a stranger’s opinion above mine?
Anyway, this is a delightful book and I think every 12yrs old should read it. Big big topics, easy flow language, funny and quite hard hitting, happy and sad. I thought it was good. I’m glad No 3 liked it and thought worth it of reading it waaaaaay past bedtimes.
From an adult point of view it’s a little bit sugary and a little bit kodak, but I’m ok with that. There are a couple of things that make me cringe a little (spoiler alert) like when August gets this award at the end of the school year for being ‘kind’… I’ve read a few review and people seem to be polarised on this: there’s the ‘it’s wrong, he only gets it because he’s disabled’ camp and the ‘it’s the right thing, he’s been through a lot, he’s so brave camp’. I can see both sides… but this is a book for children about children and let’s face it… and children are not too much into shades of grey… they want it black and white, simple and clear messages… all children say silly things, exaggerated things, things they mean one day and not the next… they want to fit in, they want to have friends… there are PLENTY of good messages in this book so let’s not be too critical.
The only line I didn’t like was one when one of the characters says that if were to be ‘like him (the bully) he’d kill himself. Well, it sounds even worse when take out of context but I still think it was a little harsh and unnecessary.
To round things up because I have a mountain of ironing to get through the only thing my son takes out of it is the allegedly sugary ‘be kinder than necessary’… that’s ok with me!
Before you ask… no I haven’t seen the movie. Don’t get me started on that…