Chris's Reviews > Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze

Milo by Alan Silberberg
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's review
Mar 03, 12

bookshelves: guys-read, j, voice, life

Dabney St. Claire is mysterious, smart, and popular without even trying. I talk to him out loud sometimes, but mostly he's just in my head, along for the ride, telling me how he'd do what I'm doing, only without doing it so wrong. . . .

See that? Dabney St. Claire whispers to me, and I have to ask him to speak up because the music got even louder. She's making conversation. That's what you do at parties.

I never thought of conversation as something you have to "make," which maybe explains why it's so hard for me to actually talk out loud.


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Milo knows he's pretty quiet and withdrawn. One day he even counted: 426 words spoken aloud during an entire day at school. It's partly because he's just moved to a new house and school for seventh grade and doesn't know anyone yet. Well, he knows he's in love with Summer Goodman, but she doesn't know Milo exists. Yet. He's charmed her a million times in his head and knows someday it will have to become reality. And partly it's for the same reasons he has goals like getting noticed by Summer but no ability to make himself care enough to act: he's been living in a fog since his mother died a couple of years ago. He's a witty observer who remains invisible (his dream super power) to most of the world, living a quiet, repressed, joyless life with his equally joyless father and older sister. Invisible to everyone but us, that is, as we get to enjoy his wit and personality through his words and cartoons (similar format to Wimpy Kid); he has a great voice. And not quite invisible to a couple of friends and neighbors, who just might be able to get under the fog with Milo and help him find a way to lift it. I both enjoyed Milo's story and was moved by it.

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The next thirty minutes are a blur of me mostly not listening but nodding a lot. Adults really like it when you nod. I think it makes them feel like you're paying attention even when all you're really doing is counting from one to one hundred forward and then backward as many times as it takes just to get through this.

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Apparently, my teeth, which no one was paying attention to while my mom was dead, have kind of gone their separate ways and finally it's time to rein them in before they migrate into someone else's mouth.
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