Keli's Reviews > Alex and the Ironic Gentleman

Alex and the Ironic Gentleman by Adrienne Kress
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's review
Dec 19, 08

bookshelves: juvenile, tween, magical-realism, fantasy

This book had me hooked from the title. And it is indeed ironic, droll and, at times, frightening. Ten year old Alex (who is a girl though she's often mistaken for a boy)finds a treasure map and must save her sixth grade teacher from pirates and help him find the buried treasure that is his birthright. What ensues is a surreal journey, much in the style of Lewis Carrol, complete with kindly inn keepers, a train to nowhere and a musical number with jazz hands. Yes, I did say a jazz hands. With her theater backgroud, Kress brings in a lot of unusual literary elements. And it's clear that she's worked a lot with the eleven year old age group. The motivations and thought processes of the protagonist ring true. The surrealism and dry humor is sure to appeal to this age group. Some of the situations are too scary for younger readers, especially the train to nowhere with a dangerous agenda. However, this book might be a good choice for older readers who are a bit below thier reading level.
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