Monday, August 25, 2008

Book Reivew: Smiles to Go

Will is sensible. He plays chess, runs cross-country, and plays Monopoly every Saturday with his two best buddies. Like many of his peers, he is trying to figure out Life; big, universal problems, such as proton decay and solipsism, as well as everyday, down-to-earth problems, such as a pesky little sister and the changing nature of his friendships, especially with Mi-Su. The middle section of the book is spent on his planning to kiss his formerly purely-platonic girl best friend. The climax of the book is surprising, but inevitable and so is Will's reaction.

The thing that I appreciate most about Jerry Spinelli's writing in this book is that he doesn't adopt the super-chummy or I'm-so-up-to-date-with-kid-lingo attitude that I find condescending. Instead he writes with understanding and respect for the way young people view their world. It's no wonder his books have been one of the mainstays in the crowded shelf of YA lit.

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