Lydia Presley's Reviews > Eighth-Grade Superzero

Eighth-Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
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May 21, 10

bookshelves: 2010, fiction, social_issues, young-adult, favorites
Read from May 20 to 21, 2010

I'm somewhat intimidated by this book. It was that good. Seriously, it was that good. Don't let the cover fool you, this book packs a big punch.

Reggie (Pukey) McKnight struggles with his 8th grade image. After a disastrous beginning in the 8th grade he begins to search for a way to change, to be someone other than "Pukey", a nickname bestowed upon him by the class bully. Sounds good, right? But then the story really digs deep.

Reggie learns about the homeless, about faith, about service and friendship. I can't even begin to describe how much I loved the supporting characters in this book as well. Ruthie and Joe C. were everything I wished I could have had in 8th grade. Smart, thought-provoking, aware children who were just plain good.

I also really loved how this book dealt with such a wide, diverse racial group in such an understated, matter-of-fact way. History is taught in such a way that it doesn't feel as if it's being preached and the culture is talked about so sweetly and perfectly that I began to feel as if this was the way I wanted to grow up.

My favorite moment of the book is the scene with the Dora shoes. You'll have to read the book to understand, but I will say this. As I read the part I began to discuss it with my 7 year old nephew. He nodded as I came to the end of the story and, in a simple sentence, he told me of his insight into the story. I was flabbergasted at the level of maturity it showed in him and so pleased that a story could provoke his thoughts in that way.

This goes on my favorites for the year list. I feel as if I'm a better person just for having read it and I encourage you to do the same. I haven't felt this strongly about a book since I read Marcelo in the Real World last year.
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