Parents' Guide to


By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Compelling tale of quirky quest of teen with schizophrenia.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Kids say (4 ):

A good knowledge of legendary comic strip Calvin and Hobbes may not be absolutely necessary to appreciate Canadian author Martine Leavitt's engaging, oddball story, but it sure helps. Especially when the narrative switches (as it often does) to the adventures of cartoon Calvin's alter ego Spaceman Spiff in mid-crisis. Fans of the strip will revel in the alternate realities, the shout-outs and the in-jokes, while newbies may be more than a bit at sea. Awkward, brilliant Calvin's probably distorted perspective and constant uncertainty about what's real and what's not are part of what makes the narrative compelling. But real girl or imaginary figment, Susie's the star here, tenacious in friendship and taking no nonsense. What's not to love about things like her exchange with the reclusive ice fisherman who gives the teens some much-needed help:

"Noah: I'm a poet. We need solitude.

"Susie: So as long as you make a poem out of it, it's OK to hurt people?

"Noah: Art is the pinnacle of human achievement.

"Susie: Being a decent human being is the pinnacle of human achievement."

Book Details

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