THE MCGILLICUDDY BOOK OF PERSONAL RECORDS by Colleen Sydor

THE MCGILLICUDDY BOOK OF PERSONAL RECORDS

Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

Thirteen-year-old Lee McGillicuddy longs to make his mark on the world and set a record for mastery of something—anything: “[T]he thought of being ordinary seemed like the worst life sentence in the world.” Both Albert Einstein (discovered through an Internet quote-a-day service) and Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (a book his father read to him yearly before dying) provide informing themes for Lee’s quest. Lee gets his chance in a frightening and unexpected way when horseplay around an old well puts his eccentric younger friend Rhonda (“My name’s Ron”) in danger. At times the narrative is overly self-conscious, including a bit of unlikely speechifying by Rhonda and a badly misjudged entry in a collection of faux–good wishes from literary and other historical luminaries: "Jo tau, Mista Ree!--Confucius." But the cinematic treatment of the rescue sequence, complete with a glimpse inside the furry brain of Lee’s dog, Santiago, is funny and well paced. By turns awkwardly preachy, humorous and poetic—something like early adolescence itself, with perseverance and angst, artifice and sincerity running side by side. (Fiction. 10-14)

 

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-88995-434-2
Page count: 222pp
Publisher: Red Deer Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2010




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