Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Reading Status

I finished another book in my queue: Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass. The book was entertaining and I can see myself pulling it off the shelf in the library to recommend to some 7th and 8th grade readers. The biggest problem with the book is that the plot is super similar, sort of ridiculously rip-offily similar, to that of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Here are some similarities:
  • The setting of NYC
  • The fact that the male protagonist's father died young
  • The motifs of keys, locks, and quests
  • The adventures of each of the protagonists being engineered and controlled by their mothers
  • The large role of grandparents
  • The protagonists' fear of people and things - a fear that they each overcome through the course of the story
So anyway, all those similarities bugged me.  I did some research and discovered that Safran Foer's novel was published just shortly (months) before Mass', so the reality is that they likely wrote the whole darn things concurrently.  Bad luck! 

But good luck that they're meant for totally different audiences.  Extremely Loud is meant for adults who will bawl their eyes out during the reading of it.  Jeremy Fink is meant for middle schoolers who will be moved, but not devastated by this charming, mysterious story.

I'm going to keep reading.  That's the bottom line.


mm said...

It's been awhile since I read Extremely Loud, but I think it would be an OK read for middle school kiddos.

I'm currently reading a middle school book about Marie Antoinette which reminds me of the Phillipa Gregory book (Other Boleyn Girl) which I also had a difficult time reading... yuck.

KC said...

I taught ELIC to sophomores. I got some complaints from parents about the mention of anal sex between men and about the graphic (rear-entry!) sex scenes between the grandparents. Sigh. The district then asked us to stop using it. Down with censorship!!

LH said...

I'm reading a book called Wolf Hall. Not too crazy about it.