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What I Did by Christopher Wakling
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Aug 04, 12

Read in August, 2012

Ever wondered what a novel written by a 6-year old boy would read like? Well, wonder no more, as Wakling has successfully channeled the thoughts, confusions and wildlife obsessions of a slightly precocious elementary schooler, Billy. The question is, do you really want to spend 300 pages with a 6-year old boy? I discovered that I have the same impatience with the fictional character as I have with actual kids.

The premise of the novel is simple, and brilliant, because it could happen to virtually (a word that Billy miswrites as "vertically") any parent in some parts of the world. During a stressful morning, Jim's son dashes across a road, Jim gets scared/loses his temper and spanks him right there, a "busybody" sees him and reports him to social workers, in whose over-caring hands the situation spirals out of control.

Billy's amusing malapropisms kept me interested for a while, but after enough of them (moluscules for molecules), I no longer cared if they were directly causing the problems the family was facing. Recommended for people who loved Room but did not want to disturbing parts.

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