Books -- reading and writing.
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And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wing Nut

Now isn't that just about the best title ever for a middle grade novel? Actually this one might fall into the "Tween" category, ages 10-14. I like so much about Wing Nut. Here's what I had to say on my Goodreads page:

I picked Wing Nut up from the display shelf of my local library's Florida Sunshine Reader Awards and from the beginning I was hooked. A kid, his mom, a hippie commune, an old man, his purple martins- such disparate elements weave into a story that is just plain fun to read. The developing relationship of 12-year-old Grady and what seems to be a grumpy old man is an important element that's never sentimental, often humorous. I loved the writing, the story, the characters, the title- everything about this one.

A couple of thoughts about the book:
It was peopled mostly with grown-ups, defying one of the rules of writing for kids. And I didn't even notice, the story was so strong. Then upon rereading, I discovered other kids, mostly as described by Grady. One reviewer thought the fact that he was homeschooled and very critical of his public school experiences was a tad harsh. But some of the bullies Grady remembers from his past experiences seemed pretty true. And they made for interesting kid characters.

So do you think it's OK, to fill a teen/tween story with grownups, if all the adults in the book are as interesting and well-told as these characters?

I was also going to say I loved the book jacket photo. Then I noticed, as is often the case, oh no! They changed the cover on the paperback edition. Not crazy about that one. But here's the original. Wouldn't this make a kid want to read Wing Nut?

Oh, and just for comparison- here's the paperback's cover. More or less kid-friendly?

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