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THIS FAMILY IS DRIVING ME CRAZY by M. Jerry Weiss

THIS FAMILY IS DRIVING ME CRAZY

Ten Stories About Surviving Your Family

edited by M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss

Age Range: 12 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-399-25040-8
Publisher: Putnam

With stories that are a mixture of humor and angst, the Weisses have collected some sterling examples of family problems, if not necessarily sterling writing. For the most part told in the first-person vernacular common to so much middle-school fiction and taking place in a largely undifferentiated present, the tales seek to plumb the relationships of kids to their families. Jack Gantos’s selection is the most oddball, the David Lubar piece the funniest, Mel Glenn’s section the most poignant and Gordon Korman’s has the most surprising ending. None is very memorable, nor does the whole add up to more than the sum of its parts. For those who need relatively short and clean fare for classrooms, this does have the advantage of having something mildly appealing for almost everyone, but it lacks the punch that a more cohesive collection can deliver. Despite its promising premise, this is ultimately a bland disappointment. (Short stories. 12-14)