professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Paulsen strikes again

Gary Paulsen read the opening chapters from his forthcoming book at the International Reading Association conference in Chicago. Of course, he had us all howling with laughter. THE AMAZING LIFE OF BIRDS (THE TWENTY DAY PUBERTY JOURNAL OF DUANE HOMER LEECH) AS TOLD TO GARY PAULSEN may have a lengthy title, but this quick funny read will delight those readers who loved HARRIS AND ME and THE SCHERNOFF DISCOVERIES. Here is the daily review of all the perils and tragedies of puberty from zits to clumsiness told from the first person of one Duane Homer Leech. I mean, how could his parents have saddled him with this name to begin with? Then, there are the zits that at first pop up one at a time and then seem to gather steam. Dropping stuff, slamming fingers in lockers, splatting food on the good looking girls--it is tough to just get up and go to school each day. Fortunately, Paulsen gives Duane a sense of humor and some support with his best friend also in the throes of puberty. Duane comes to OWN his puberty and, thus, begins to take some control.

As a parent, I have seen this process up close and personal. As a matter of fact, it still plays out in my home most days. Walking into walls, breaking out, growing out of clothes, making friends: it is all there in my girls. Paulsen's make character, Duane, gets a few more goodies added to his already full plate. However, there is always hope and humor helps that hope come along at just the right time.

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