Sunday, April 18, 2010

Punkzilla by Adam Rapp

Nominated for the 2010 Michael L. Printz Award, Punkzilla is the story of 14 year-old run away Jamie, who is traveling from Portland to Memphis to see his older brother who is dying of cancer. Jamie's voice is the highlight of this book; the story is told through letters - some he writes in his journal to his brother 'P' and some he receives from other people in his life. At first, the hardcore realism of the book turned me off, but after a few letters I was completely drawn in by Jamie's starkly honest missives and the way he revealed himself. His encounters with other humans as he makes his way south offer a grim depiction of the life of a run away. His parents, while stereotypically drawn, were believable. This book is not for someone who wants a happy ending but it does end on a fairly positive note as Jamie comes to terms with who he is and what he wants out of life. Click here for the review.
Grade 10+