Can't Stop Reading

Lucky for me I get a hefty discount at work, because I just can't seem to stop myself!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Marie-Louise Gay's new book is collaboration with her husband David Homel, who has written primarily for adults. The book is a sort of a series of short stories, each describing a vacation taken by the family. It's told from the perspective of the eldest son, who narrates the various adventures the family runs into while vacationing.

This book is charming. The stories are well told, with the ring of truth. I loved that the kids' idea of a perfect vacation is Disneyland, while the parents prefer to head to an isolated cottage in Maine during a hurricane. A hurricane named Bob, which we are told, is "just not a very scary name."
If I was in charge of naming hurricanes I would call them Hurricane Hulk, or Demon, or Destroyer. Now that would scare people!

However, I do have a few complaints. They all basically stem from the same source: the narrator. This kid is unlike any kid I've ever talked to, and not in a good way. His parents are "my mother and my father," and his brother is exclusively "my little brother." He is also very insightful, and has a very adult sense of humor. Though I really enjoyed the tone the stories were told in, it just doesn't jive with one a kid would use. If Gay and Homel had used a third person narrator, this would have been much less noticeable.

Regardless, this book would be a great one for bedtime stories, or classroom read alouds, as each chapter stands alone as its own adventure.

Travels with My Family by Marie-Louise Gay & David Homel
ISBN 0888996888
119 pages


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