Friday, November 30, 2007

This Is What I Did

Ellis, Ann Dee. 2007. This Is What I Did.

Imagine if you had witnessed something horrific.
Imagine if it had happened to your friend.
And imagine if you hadn't done anything to help.

Logan is our young narrator. He is an outcast when our narrative opens--someone who's awkward and troubled. Troubled for two reasons--the way others treat him either through ignoring him or bullying him, and troubled by his past. One day, one night changed his life. One troubling event caused his parents to decide to move neighborhoods, change schools. This event is revealed slowly, piece by piece. Logan, our narrator, is used to lying, used to keeping secrets, used to being alone.

This is how the narrative opens:

Last week Bruce kicked me in the balls at Scouts and all his buddies were there laughing and I started crying. I was lying there crying.

But he doesn't feel comfortable, doesn't feel right, telling his parents--his dad--about the bullying, the abuse, the taunts. Afraid and ashamed he lets everything slide.

A year ago I was fine. That's when there was nothing wrong. A year ago, in seventh grade, I was fine. We were living on Mulholland with the hills and the lake and the freeway and the Minute Man Gas Stop and my best friend, Zyler, ate Twinkies and Coke and hated girls, except one.
I couldn't eat Twinkies or Coke because of Mom, but I hated girls too, except one.
At school we weren't so cool but we weren't so not cool.
Zyler and I would sit and talk about whatever we wanted: aerodynamics, space-time continuum, Cami Wakefield, fencing, the Denver Nuggets, Lamborghinis, and soggy Tater Tots for darts in the school lunchroom.
No one cared what we said and we didn't care what anyone else said.

Eighth grade isn't easy for Logan--that would be an understatement--but with the help of a quirky girl that loves palindromes and a counselor, Logan might just find a way to survive it all.

I liked this one. Logan was a great narrator. And you could really feel his pain--his angst. I disliked some of the adult characters--but then again, I think we were supposed to. I can't really get into it without spilling some of the secrets, but I liked it. I suppose it could be described as a "problem" novel since it dealt with some heavy issues, but I felt that it did so in a realistic and authentic way. It wasn't always pretty to watch the drama unfold, but ugly things happen in life.


Chris 11:45 AM  

This sounds like one that I'd enjoy and one that I could recommend to some of my kids. To the wishlist it goes!

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