Posted by: bwoof | January 12, 2010

War Boy…and boys reading!!!

CORRECTION (24 HOURS LATER)

THE BOOK WAS NOT WAR BOY BUT RATHER WAR BROTHERS. APPARENTLY BOTH BOOKS ARE EXCELLENT. HOW SERENDIPITIOUS MISTAKES CAN BE!

While walking the halls today I found three Gr 12 boys sitting on the floor, each with a laptop, and each working on a culminating activity. They’d read a book which, I believe, is called War Boy. If I’ve got it wrong, I’m sure they’ll tell me.

So, what’s the learning? Well, anytime you see boys reading you must immediately recognize it as a major event, something not to be dismissed. And then you must immediately set out to learn about the book and become equipped to talk about it and celebrate that reading is happening. Further, when the boys tell you “it’s the best book we’ve ever read !!!” then you really know you’re on to something.

So, this is what I’ve learned about the book:

From an Amazon.com review:War Boy is The Catcher in the Rye of NOW! I’m 17, and I know that if they put this book out in a cheap paperback that teens could afford they would sell a million copies. Radboy is someone my generation can really relate to, especially compared to a preppie like Holden Caulfield back in my grandpa’s time when there wasn’t even rock and roll.

And another Amazon review: The story is told solely from the perspective of Radboy in a hyperkinetic narrative that free-associates its way to a brutal and nail-biting climax… We find ourselves following Radboy and his exploits almost as if we ourselves are amped up on speed and anxious for action. In this, his first novel, Kief Hillsbery delivers a fantastic new perspective to the world around us, and wraps it up in a tidy moral story about trust, real family, and friendship. I eagerly await his next book!

And one more Amazon.com review: I would have given this story 5 stars except for the subject matter (everyone was tweaking on crystal meth). Regardless, this is one heck of a fascinating read. The concept of taking a deaf-mute 14 year old and telling his tale in first person, using run-on sentences, modern slang, and a frenetic pace was simply brilliant. The fact that Radboy is gay was great as well. The plot was sort of odd, but I was much more interested in the highly unusual (good!) writing style, which, I think, places this book in a category all its own.

Grateful for:

  • L’Abri study group
  • MEW and squash soup with good conversation

Curious about:

  • IB Chemistry
  • games people play
  • where will all the good teachers go?
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