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REPLAY by Sharon Creech Kirkus Star

REPLAY

By Sharon Creech

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-054019-2
Publisher: HarperCollins

One of four children in a large, chaotic Italian-American family, 12-year-old Leo is nicknamed “sardine” because he once said he felt squished like one, and occasionally “fog boy” because he slips into thoughtful trances where he “replays” life’s disappointing scenarios. Papa says Leo can make “gold from pebbles,” and indeed, in Leo’s amusingly grandiose imaginings, readers will behold the often-stumbling, invisible-feeling boy emerge as the Nobel Prize winner or famous actor he was (possibly) born to be. When Leo gets the part of “old crone” in the school play, he analyzes that character, but more important, he examines his own life’s role, and that of his once-vivacious, now distant father. In this warm, funny, philosophical novel, Creech cleverly juxtaposes life and stage life, complete with a cast of characters, short chapters listed as scenes and pieces of dialogue recorded as script. By the end, Leo knows life can’t be scripted, that he wouldn’t want it to be, that “dorky, little nobody kids” (not that he is one) can become “amazing grown-ups” and that improvisation is key. (complete script of the school play) (Fiction. 8-12)