Monday, January 29, 2007

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - I Am the Messenger

I just finished Markus Zusak's I Am the Messenger. I'm rapidly becoming a Zusak fan. I really liked The book Thief, too. I Am the Messenger has some mature subject matter, so I'd recommend it for high school, not middle school students. Even without the subject matter issues, a really young person just wouldn't relate to this one. It's particularly good for teenagers who seem to be drifting, without feeling like they have a purpose in life, or for adults going through a mid-life crisis. The most politically correct way to describe Ed, the main character, would be chronic underachiever. He's actually very bright and well-read, but he's just getting by in life with no real purpose or direction. His life changes when he is in the bank during an armed robbery and has a moment of extreme bravery/stupidity that gives him his 15 minutes of fame as a hero. A short time later, he receives an ace of diamonds in the mail with 3 addresses written on it, but no further explanation. He realizes that someone wants him to fix something at each address, but he's on his own to figure out what and how. This one would make a good book discussion selection. It leaves you thinking about your effect on the world around you, and how little it can sometimes take to make a difference. The ending is also interesting because depending on how you look at things, some people might think that the author explained who was sending Ed messages, but I thought it was open to some debate. For the right audience, I'd highly recommend it. I stayed up a bit later than I should have a few nights because I just had to read a little more. The last couple of books I've read hadn't done that for me.

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