Did I enjoy reading Barbara Park's Skinnybones, a middle grade novel originally published in 1982? Yes and no. First, as is obvious, I am not the target audience for this one. I am not in elementary school. I am not a boy. My sense of humor isn't that of a sixth grade boy. Also, I have absolutely no interest in baseball, or, in reading books about baseball. I didn't exactly want to like Alex Frankovitch, the hero nicknamed Skinnybones. But. At times I found myself liking him despite his obnoxious, attention-seeking ways.
Here are a few things you should know about Alex:
1) He has played little league for a good many years, but, he is horrible, absolutely horrible at baseball. I'm not sure *why* he keeps playing baseball when he's so bad at it. Perhaps he *likes* playing baseball, or, maybe he likes being part of a team. Perhaps his parents make him stay in baseball. Maybe he's afraid that by not playing baseball the other boys will think him strange, different, etc.
2) He loves, loves, loves attention. If he can focus the attention in on himself and make others laugh, then, he'll do it--no matter the situation. He can be very inappropriate, very loud, very annoying. The kids sometime laugh, usually laugh, his teachers and parents--hardly ever.
3) He hates one of his classmates and is in fierce competition with him. This is the focus of 90% of this book. The other kid, of course, is BRILLIANT at baseball.
I am glad there are books like Skinnybones being published--or republished. I am happy to recommend books like this to their target audience!
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews