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Scrawl by Mark Shulman
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's review
Jan 16, 2011

it was amazing

I loved this book. Completely devoured it in one afternoon (spent prone on the couch with a sinus headache). I love Tod's voice and found plenty to love about this book, written as Tod's detention journal. It is not just a book about a smart underprivileged kid, though he is both smart and underprivileged. It's not just a book about bullying, though Tod is a bully. No overwrought teen angst in evidence though Tod's navigation of high school life is both amusing and flinch worthy as he hides and protects his most tender feelings, even from himself, all the while struggling to maintain a certain reputation as a bad boy while keeping his grades up, pilfering thrift store donation boxes and secretly stitching costumes for the school play because a girl asked him to ask his mother, seamstress for a dry cleaner, to make them. He is a bad boy but he knows his mom doesn't have the time, energy or inclination but he's a boy and though I don't think he ever completely fessed up, he wants to impress the girl. Laughed out loud at his summation of a "teen anger management" brochure. There were a number of little mysteries and plots twists, including the delightful end. And all without foul language?! Is that even possible for a contemporary young adult novel? Just loved this book, will be looking for more Mark Shulman.

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