Parents' Guide to

Zen and the Art of Faking It

By Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Great wisdom and humor for teens to meditate on.

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A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 11+

A great book for a kid starting middle school

The lead character makes a big mistake by creating a false persona, he's found out and faces the inevitable peer scorn. He acknowledges his failure, becomes his authentic self and achieves redemption. He is supported in this transformation by caring adults.
1 person found this helpful.
age 10+

Zen and the Art of Faking

I absolutely love this book except sometimes when you are reading the book the transitions aren't very smooth. For example it's San Lee and Woody talking and then out of the blue it's San Lee and his mother talking. Follow me on Instagram @JudgeJudy101

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (11 ):

Teen readers will relate to San's attitudes toward his classmates -- bullies, girls, jocks -- and his awkwardness around other kids. But the author missed an opportunity to talk more about racial attitudes and stereotypes; it's all handled too subtly. Ultimately San teaches readers what happens when lies are revealed, that is, about the importance of character and humility.

Who wants to stand out in the middle school years? Certainly not San Lee, the main character in ZEN AND THE ART OF FAKING IT. There's so much going on in San's head that his insight into his world -- though it seems unrealistically developed for his age -- is a real treat for the reader. His crush on a female classmate is full of authentic details, he relates his anger toward his father to his constant lying to classmates, and his self-deprecating humor and sarcasm are spot-on funny.

Book Details

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