Monday, January 17, 2011

"As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth" Mixing It up with an Awesome Adventure.

Guest Reviewer Katie stops by with a review of a book that has been super popular with our Middle School TAB kids this year:

As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth, by Lynne Rae Perkins

This is a different sort of book. And that isn’t intended as a criticism. Indeed, I picked it up precisely because I was looking for different.

First, there was a boy on the cover, which was a nice change from my Books-About-17-Year-Old-Girls Reading Rut.

Second, the description on the front flap gives almost none of the plot away. Behold,

Train.
Car.
Plane.
Boat.
Feet.
He’ll get there.
Won’t he?
We don’t know who he is or where he’s going, and it’s kind of nice. Too often, I sit down with a book and know exactly what to expect--which isn’t always a bad thing, but again, it can lead to a bit of a rut.

And third, once you are curled up with this book, what truly makes it different and sets it apart from the other books that I’ve read lately is the author’s voice. It reminds me a bit of the tone Louis Sachar takes in Holes. Lynne Rae Perkins peppers the tale with sharp observations, funny asides, unforgettable characters, and the occasional illustration, all the while weaving together implausible (in the best possible way) plot lines.

None of which really tells you what the book is about. But I really don’t want to ruin it for you, either. Suffice it to say this is a book about 15-year-old Ry and his adventures one summer that involve a variety of forms of transportation. But like so many journeys it is less about how he gets there (which is a pretty grand tale) and more about who he meets along the way.

To be honest, for a long time I wasn’t sure where Perkins was taking me on this ride, but I think that might have been part of the point: Learning to sit back, enjoy the journey, and embrace new experiences.

We all need to mix it up every once in a while.

Thanks to Katie for stopping by with a great recommendation. TATAL READERS: Don't miss out on our $25 B&N gift certificate give-away! More info here!

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