Gordon Korman’s Restart was a great book to read with the 4th graders. Its about a middle-schooler who falls off his roof and gets amnesia. The kid he becomes is vastly different than the kid he was before. This prompted great discussions about bullying, social structures within schools, being cool, and following your own interests.

Read October 2018


Broken Monsters

I read Broken Monsters after reading an article where Stephen King, the king of horror, recommended it. I was not disappointed.

What a story! Lauren Beukes has a handful of main characters that tell the story of a man succumbing to madness. But no matter who the narrator was, the city held the main stage. The decrepitness of the city, the population fleeing, the artists trying to dress up the crumbling houses, the homeless surviving on what’s left behind by those leaving, the children growing up while the landscape dies. All the characters are essential to this story but it wouldn’t be the same in another city. All the characters are witness to the descent of the city and the madman that is slowly terrorizing it, but they all have their own story to tell as well including single parenthood, failed aspirations, bullying, creating art, friendships, and priorities in life. Life must go on even when it seems like the city is over.

As we learn about how those living in a shrinking city are surviving and sometimes flourishing, we also get glimpses into madness. The madness should almost be its own character since it doesn’t seem to be a man, but something that controls man outside of himself.

This book is dark with an evilness that most novels stay away from. It is so well done and creepy with a ending that holds up and transforms the story. Great read!

Read September 2014.