Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Review: The Encyclopedia of Me by Karen Rivers

Title: The Encyclopedia of Me
Author: Karen Rivers
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: September 1, 2012

Cover Impressions: The cover is cute and would definitely appeal to a teen audience.  The imagery charmingly hints at a kiss and the colors are eye-catching.

The Gist:
Tink Aaron-Martin is not your average teenager.  After being grounded (again) she forgoes the moping and whining typical of her age and instead escapes with her laptop up her favorite tree and proceeds to write an encyclopedia of her life. 

This novel has a very unique style.  The narrative is woven throughout encyclopedia entries like: MegaMall, Haywire and Virgorama.  Some of the entries serve only as amusing interludes while others move the plot forward.  This effect took a little getting used to, and I must admit that as the novel went on, I found the frequent footnotes less endearing and more distracting.

The story itself has some fantastic bones.  Tink is a special young girl with a not so nice best friend, two brothers, one who is autistic and one who is just annoying and parents who seem to forget that she exists.  However, by the end of the story there isn't a great deal of progression.  We see some growth in the family, and Tink *sort of* lets go of her friendship with Freddie Blue but I don't really feel that Tink changed as a person or that she accomplished anything other than winning "The Boyfriend Race".

Though I had some problems with the narrative, I do feel that this novel would appeal to a middle grade audience.  I can see a number of my students enjoying the alternative writing style and sharing Tink's quirky sense of humor.

Teaching/Parental Notes:

Gender:  Female
Sex:  Kissing
Violence:  Accident involving a car
Inappropriate Language: None
Substance Use/Abuse:  None


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