A long time ago a friend told me, “It must be such a relief to have cute kids, because then no one has to lie to you.” Of course, the strong emphasis on the word relief is what makes this statement both so funny, and so true.
I use this to introduce the book Happy Kid! by Gail Gauthier, because the author is participating in the 48HBC this weekend, and I can’t tell you how awful I would have felt if I had read her book and it... well, sucked. But no. It was funny, interesting, realistic, and meaningful. I can’t wait to booktalk it in the fall to those brand-new seventh graders.
Kyle is starting seventh grade with some issues. He got into some trouble the previous year, even though it wasn’t his fault, and has drifted away from the few friends that he once had. He tends to be a loner and a pessimist. His mother surprises him with a book titled Happy Kid! which she pays him a dollar a chapter to read. He reads it for the money, but finds that the paragraph-size chapters are influencing him to make positive changes in his life. He begins to suspect that something else is at work here when the book is strangely accurate in predicting what he needs to know next.
All the characters in the book had very authentic voices. The book was humorous, but had a real message to convey in all of the self-help book excerpts. You know, I may have to come back and strengthen this review later, because I don’t feel like I am doing the book justice.
What I am trying to say is, “Gail, it much be such a relief to have written a great book, because then no one has to lie to you.”