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KNUCKLEHEAD by Jon Scieszka

KNUCKLEHEAD

Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories of Growing up Scieszka

By Jon Scieszka

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-670-01106-3
Publisher: Viking

Offering an answer to the perennial query about where his ideas come from, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature looks back to his early 1960s youth. Fans will not be surprised to learn that, except for his mother (a nurse, fortunately) he grew up in an all-male household: father, five brothers and “even our dogs and cats and fish.” The resulting memories include group pukes in the back seat, slipping toy soldiers into the Christmas crèche, playing neighborhood games like “Slaughterball” and idyllic summer expeditions into the woods around his grandparents’ cottage—not to mention the pleasures of random dips into the household children’s encyclopedia and spurning “those weirdos Dick and Jane” to “find out more about real things like dogs in cars and cats in hats.” Illustrated with truly dorky school-yearbook photos and family snapshots, this account of a thoroughly normal childhood doesn’t match Gary Paulsen’s memoirs for hilarity or Tomie DePaola’s for cultural insight, but it will draw chuckles of amusement from middle-graders (particularly less eager readers) and of recognition from their parents and grandparents. (Autobiography. 8-11)