If you didn’t enjoy reading this awesome book … you are a PIED NINNY. >:) It’s been a while since I read a simple book with a ‘feel good’ story, moving characters, witty humor & sarcasm, inspiring characters with some great twists and turns. It actually made me cry and laugh, and feel ashamed, and then laugh again, and feel melancholy and laugh again and feel sympathy and then laugh again. This book totally deserves a MOVIE. A great adaptation. I can totally imagine the scenes and the characters while reading it, as if I was actually watching it on the big screen. Moreover, if The Diary of a Wimpy Kid made it to the big screen, then this one totally deserves it!
Holling Hoodhood is one of the best protagonists I’ve come to know so far. Even better than Harry Potter. Although we have nothing in common and I couldn’t really relate to whatever he’s going through or what sort of emotions a 13-year-old like him could possibly harbor, I was able to relate to him… in a way. It’s like seeing another you. A different you. I sympathized with him. I understood every single emotion he had. I laughed and cried with him. I even felt humiliated for him when I thought about how horrifying those yellow tights with feathers on the — must’ve been… ^^ He was a fun character to read. No stupid mumbo jumbo, no hiding behind fake masks, no overflowing and exaggerated emotions – just a simple kid. My fave Holling moment would be the one with his sister – the whole Western Union and bus station thing. I didn’t realize I was already crying and laughing and smiling all at the same time.
I like Danny Hupfer too. He’s sort of like that annoying jerk in class who’d surprise you with his inner charm and kindness. I was so touched during that whole Mickey Mantle thing. The other characters are likeable and quite interesting too. It’s not like other books where the minor characters would either annoy you or bore you to death. Actually, that’s one of the reasons I like this book. You’ll get to know each character well without reading a whole chapter or at least a dozen pages about their boring and nonsensical lives. Each character, no matter how minor, has a story. Mr. Goldman and his light, fresh, brown cream puffs… Mr. Vendleri and his asbestos tiles… Mrs. Bigio and her Lunch Surprises… Doug and his 410 ways to annoy a teacher… Holling’s sister and her fight for civil rights and equality… Meryl Lee and her hidden affection for Holling… even Holling’s parents despite their being, well, so parent-ish. 😄 I’m telling you, I have never enjoyed all characters in one book this much!
I especially like the bits about Shakespeare and his works. How a 13-year-old boy like Holling analyzes it and gives his thoughts about it. Honestly, I’ve NEVER read a Shakespeare novel – NOT one single novel. I know. Lame, right? I just… I’ve never been a big fan of classic stuff with obsolete words and language that I probably won’t understand even if I tried. So I love how some of Shakespeare’s famous works were briefly discussed and summarized here. It was intricately mixed into each chapter and sprinkled with humor, wit and sarcasm here and there… so as not to make it draggy or boring. I never would’ve known anything about Caliban from The Tempest and his colorful curses. ^^
The story is set in the 1960s during the American-Vietnam War so there were some historical stuff here and there. But even that didn’t bore me at all. Important figures like Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were also important characters in the story.
I think the thing that I love the most here is how simple and creative the writing style is. It’s easy enough for a middle-schooler to understand, yet not too childish for, well, adults like me. ^^
I’m glad I started reading this novel. I’ll probably read the next one too – OKAY FOR NOW – in which Doug is the protagonist. And I will definitely enjoy it. Lastly, if you’re not amused with this wonderful novel… well, here’s what I gotta say: TOADS, BEETLES and BATS you PIED NINNY! ^__^