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Calvin

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,866 Ratings  ·  680 Reviews
As a child, Calvin felt an affinity with the comic book character from Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes.

He was born on the day the last strip was published; his grandpa left a stuffed tiger named Hobbes in his crib; and he even had a best friend named Susie. Then Calvin’s mom washed Hobbes to death, Susie grew up beautiful and stopped talking to him, and Calvin pretty
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Hardcover, 181 pages
Published November 17th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published November 15th 2015)
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Miriam
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, realism
A smart teen, newly diagnosed with schizophrenia, goes on a quest across frozen Lake Eerie to find the reclusive Bill Watterson, accompanied by his probably-imaginary tiger and possibly-imaginary former best friend.

This is a fast read, almost entirely in dialog. It is entirely different in tone and content from the previous Leavitt I had read, Keturah and Lord Death. I am glad I picked this up despite not enjoying my first experience with Leavitt and will be open to reading more of her books.
Samantha Ania
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I'M NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING. Okay, fine, I'm crying, this book is beautiful. Probably especially if you are a long time fan of Calvin and Hobbes but also hopefully if you aren't.
Scribs
Martine, you kind of amaze me.

This latest book, especially since my own daughter was diagnosed with something difficult like the MC's bi-polar disorder, made me wonder (for the millionth time) at your incredible insight into us. Mere humans. I'm not sure I'd count you as one of us in all your brilliance, though how else could you understand us so well?

Here are just a few of my favorite quotes (though it's hard to choose):

"I'm already broken. This is about putting the pieces back together."

"You k
...more
Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide/Novelly Yours)
Initial Impressions: Wow, that ending was kind of a let-down. That was not how I thought it was going to go!
The beginning was pretty decent. I was definitely interested and was invested in Calvin's journey. The middle started to get slow and didn't really seem like it was going anywhere. The ending was utterly disappointing but that was mostly because I thought I was onto something here and it didn't play out like I thought.
The writing wasn't anything spectacular and although the book did give
...more
Paula Soper
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, ya
How should I write a review about a story that has had me in its grasp since the day, three months ago when Tyler Oswald told me about it? I love Calvin and Hobbes. I love Spaceman Spiff. I love alien teachers, and Mo the bully, Susie, and I love, love, love Hobbes.

You do, too, or you wouldn't be reading about this book.

This book is lovely. I would walk across a frozen Lake Erie with Martine Leavitt if she would just tell me the story again.

How can a story of a 17 year-old schizophrenic boy wh
...more
Jessica
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
What an odd little book, and highly enjoyable. Calvin, our hero (of sorts) is born on the same day that the last Calvin & Hobbes comic runs. He has a stuffed Hobbes toy, and a cute neighbor named Susie.

He also has a mental illness.

And so he goes on a quest to find Bill Watterston and have him publish one last comic, one that will be about this Calvin, the real Calvin, living a happy and healthy life.

I dare not say more, because that would be spoiling things, and as this book is under 200 p
...more
Steph VanderMeulen
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'll say it right off, in case you don't feel like reading this whole post: Calvin is the best YA book I've read in eons. A 17-year old kid has a schizophrenic episode and thinks he's Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes. He hears Hobbes with him. There are just too many coincidences for him to think he's not. He was born on the day the comic strip ended. His parents named him Calvin. His uncle gave him a stuffed tiger named Hobbes. He's just like Calvin. He has blond hair and had a red wagon. His da ...more
Anurag Sahay
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an amazing book.

The plot is as follows: Calvin, a 17 year old High School student, has always had an affinity for his namesake from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip - as a kid, his best frenemy was a girl next door named Susie McLean, his favourite toy was a tiger gifted to him by his grandfather, and his life was full of sledding and snowmen and creativity. However, he has a problem: he has two upcoming deadlines for an English and a Biology project, neither of which he is prepared for
...more
Ashley
Rating: 2.5/5
***Minor spoilers***

Calvin has always felt connected to Calvin and Hobbes. In fact, he was born on the day the last Calvin and Hobbes comic strip was published. He seems perfectly fine, just a teenager struggling to finish some projects at the last minute, when he has a schizophrenic episode and is later diagnosed with schizophrenia. He begins to see Hobbes and speak to him, and he wants him to go away but he's unable to get rid of him. He believes that if he just convinces Bill Wat
...more
Brenda Ayala
Nov 02, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a love story disguised as a mental illness story.

I had hoped that we would have a story that allowed a teenager to be every part of himself without the mental illness defining him, at least at the end. I wanted something where we saw him come to terms with it and grapple with how to handle himself.

Instead I got a supremely idiotic scheme--one that no sane person would ever agree to, even a hormonal teenage girl--that not only proves he's incapable of making rational decisions, but also t
...more
Chris
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a clever scenario: high school senior Calvin has his first psychotic episode while at school, and when he wakes up in the hospital, he hears the voice of Hobbes, the stuffed tiger character from Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strip.

Calvin's troubled, of course, by the risk of going/being crazy, and he decides that he can be cured if he can get Bill Watterson to draw a new Calvin and Hobbes strip, one that shows a healthy 17 year old Calvin, without Hobbes. He rashly decides to mak
...more
Sheila Beaumont
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I'm so glad I ran across this wonderful book at my local library. I love it!

The story is about a boy named Calvin, who was born on the day Bill Watterson's "Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip ended. His grandpa gave him a stuffed toy tiger named Hobbes, with whom young Calvin had many adventures. And he has grown up with a neighbor named Susie.

When Calvin is 17, Hobbes returns, this time as a delusion. After a diagnosis of schizophrenia, Calvin decides he can be cured if he makes a dangerous pilgrim
...more
Kaethe
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Calvin was born on the day the last Calvin and Hobbes ran. His grandfather gave him a stuffed tiger, he grew up with a best friend named Suzie, and now he's older, and schizophrenic, and maybe an epic journey will make everything better?

The author's tone is empathetic, but never pitying. There's just enough humor to the whole thing to keep it from being melodrama.

Library copy
Cassandra
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting book--it's written a (long) letter, which in this case works for the novel. It deals with schizophrenia, though it's mainly the drive for the story-but still, the only book I can think of that involves schizophrenia is Alice in Wonderland, but that's only the other people besides Alice. Characters are funny and more or less realistic, though their relationship was predictable. The plot was also pretty predictable, but I didn't really seem to mind. In all honesty, I think t ...more
Erikka
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
First of all, this book made me think of this:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/...

Second, what a positive representation of mental illness. A lot of people fear schizophrenics, so I was pleased to see such a sweet and loving character who wouldn't hurt a fly. It was a lovely way to dispel a myth and I think any readers with schizophrenia would be grateful.

Third, I loved the unreliable narrator. Even after the end I still wonder how much was in his head. The events of the story are just unlik
...more
Kate
Jan 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Calvin wasn't named after the boy from "Calvin & Hobbes," but he was born on the same day the last Calvin & Hobbes comic strip was published, and now his old tiger stuffed animal (named Hobbes) has come to life and is following him around, talking to him.

So, Calvin is diagnosed with schizophrenia. But he's come up with a solution: walking across Lake Erie to Bill Watterson's house, which hopefully Bill will have received his letters and drawn a final Calvin & Hobbes strip where Calvi
...more
Christina
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This brief, refreshing little books is so awesome.

1star- it was a great look into schizophrenia. For anyone who doesn't have it, it is a safe way to explore the symptoms one might have.
2stars- I could picture this as a play! The dialogue helps this, but the set would be so simple.
3stars- for a fun vignette of characters! From Hobbes to Noah, it was cool.
4stars- while the ending isn't satisfying, it is the realistic one. And I love that Leavitt places support in someone with a sickness as the rea
...more
Brittany
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It's a disconcerting journey through the mind of a mentally ill, yet artistic and wonderful high school student who sincerely believes he is the human version of Calvin from the famous comic strip.

His imaginary tiger friend, Hobbes, is kind of a sassy, snarky, selfish jerk and I found him hilarious.

And the plot, this desperate pilgrimage to change the course of his future, it's so honorable and crazy, you can't help but enjoy the ride.
Jenn Bishop
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful. Moving. Deeply profound.

::hugs book to chest::
Nancy
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, bookclub
Calvin is a Canadian high school youth who experiences a schizophrenia episode, and believes his childhood stuffed animal Hobbes is alive and speaking to him. Cognizant that Hobbes is a delusion, he latches onto the idea that cartoonist Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes creator) can cure him if he would just draw Calvin a new strip showing him grown up without Hobbes. He decides to walk across frozen Lake Erie to meet Watterson in the US, and his neighbor Susie tries to stop him, but gets suck ...more
Galvin Perry
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I saw the name of this book Calvin, I started to laugh because it was so similar to my name Galvin. The genre of this book is young adult/ middle grade/ fiction. This book is about two high schoolers, one with a disease called schizophrenia ( this is a disease where you see and hear things that are not really there.) Calvin sees an imaginary tiger which his friend Susie can't see. Calvin has to figure out what is real and what is not. Calvin has to walk across Lake Erie to see if Bill Watte ...more
runningwithschisms
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Lots of people have a tiger, but they don't know about it."

When I was about ten, my eight-year-old neighbor had a wagon and a tiger, and there happened to be a steep hill right across the street, covered in bumps and sticks. It was perfect for a Calvin and Hobbes fanatic to go careening down. Every. Single. Day. I would look out the window every afternoon and say, "Hey, it's Calvin!" and not be disappointed. There was my neighbor, playing his hero. His sister thought he was insane. "He THINKS
...more
Sara
Sep 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: coming-of-age, eh, quirky
I love Martine Leavitt. Her brilliant "Ketturah and Lord Death" was a story that just left me breathless. I wanted desperately to feel the same way about "Calvin" but I just didn't. I just had too hard a time suspending disbelief here. A young man dealing with a brand spanking new diagnosis of schizophrenia decides to take a pilgrimage across one of the Great Lakes in the middle of winter to find Bill Watterson who he believes will fix him and the girl of his dreams may or may not be coming with ...more
Keitha
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“This is how it was Bill. One minute I was a kid who uses his mind, and the next minute I was transmognified into a kid whose mind uses him.”

Best YA contemporary novel I've read in a while. Leavitt looks at mental illness in youth through Calvin, a normal teen who abruptly descends into schizophrenia.

The story is written as a letter to Bill Watterson, the reclusive writer of the Calvin and Hobbes comics. Calvin decides the only way to get better is to force Bill Watterson to write one more comic
...more
Jenna
Oct 08, 2015 rated it liked it
I don't quite know what to think about this book, but I enjoyed it and it was a quick read. Calvin did feel rather Calvin-esque and I now would like to reread all the comics. I liked the method of using dialogue tags and silences being blank conversations.

10/8/15
I want this book. I wonder if Bacon and Hobbes would've cured Calvin.
Sophia
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was sooo cute. It's not cute in an overly affectionate way, but it's cute in a realizing your love kind of way, which is a nice change. Page 129. That is all. I would like to read more of this authors book :)
Elliot Jackson
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Had a librarian friend recommend this to me, and really enjoyed it. Having grown up on the Great Lakes, and being a Calvin and Hobbes freak, how not? Ending had me in tears. I'll definitely look for more by this author!
Michelle
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book because of the Calvin and Hobbes aspect. Unfortunately, I found the rest of the story and characters unrealistic and un-enjoyable. Next time, I may just find Calvin and Hobbes fan fiction.
Chantele Sedgwick
I read this earlier this year and never added it to Goodreads. Beautiful writing. Beautiful book. I was surprised at how short this book was. Quick read, but the story and main character pulled me in and I couldn't put it down. I need to check out Keturah and Lord Death now.
Jack B
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mp-1
Calvin and Hobbes?
Calvin is a very exciting, adventurous book in which Calvin is diagnosed with a brain disease and sees things. This book is very entertaining and I couldn’t put it down. The story itself is very compelling and interesting and I loved the book.
While Calvin thinks the things he sees are real and can talk like any other person/tiger the rest of the world can’t see them. He feels as if he is really Calvin from the comic calvin and hobbes and the only way for him to be cured is fo
...more
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Martine Leavitt has published ten novels for young adults, most recently Calvin, which won the Governor General’s Award of Canada. My Book of Life by Angel was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year. Other titles by Leavitt include Keturah and Lord Death, a finalist for the National Book Award, Tom Finder, winner ...more
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“Just because you see something doesn't mean it's really there.” 2 likes
“Doesn't it make you feel kind of awesome that the world is beautiful for no other apparent reason that that it is? Like beauty has its own secret reason. It doesn't need human eyes to notice. It just wants to be glorious and unbelievable.” 2 likes
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