Friday, November 20, 2009

"I begin to think that maybe there are more things in life that seem simple, or even stupid, on the surface but turn out to have so much more . . .."

Lucius and Aurora are the new kids at school. However, they have arrived under vastly different circumstances. Lucius' family has moved after he did the unthinkable: created an explosion that left him without his arms. Aurora's father has decided to move after they lose her mother to sickness. Both are alone in a new place and have to figure out how to cope. Unlike Lucius, Aurora is instantly popular. She is the kind of girl everyone wants to be friends with. For Lucius, it's more difficult. People notice right away that he has prosthetic arms, complete with hooks, which intimidates many and keeps them at a distance. Told in alternating chapters, we hear Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logstead from both Lucius' and Aurora's voices.

I read this book quickly, probably within a couple of hours. However, I've gone back to it four or five times in the last few weeks--reading parts out loud to students, colleagues, and generally whoever would listen because there were so many parts that I wanted to share. I loved Lucius' relationship with Nick Greek, the former football star turned security guard at his new school. There's something transformational about being able to help someone else when you are in bad circumstances and their friendship defined that for me. I also tend to believe that one positive relationship with an adult can change a kid forever, even though the impact may not be seen for years.

Although this is a quick read, there is a lot to think about. I'm always advocating for kids to be allowed to read whatever they want, regardless of format or length--this book is an example of a slim volume that really delivers.

Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logstead was published in September, 2009.

1 comment:

  1. This book sounds great! It's been on my wishlist for sometime now.