Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - Notes From the Midnight Driver

Just finished Jordan Sonnenblick's Notes From the Midnight Driver. This one just came in a few days ago, and I was intriqued by the cover picture of a garden gnome in the driver's seat of a car. The book opens with 16-year-old Alex deciding that he's going to get back at his dad for walking out, by getting drunk (this is his first drinking experience), taking his mom's car (keep in mind that he doesn't have a license yet and has never driven) and storming his dad's house. He ends up careening into a neighbor's yard instead. Fortunately, the only fatality is the neighbor's decapitated garden gnome. Alex ends up with a community service sentence that he is to fulfill by working with Sol, a particular, crotchety resident of a nursing home. Along the way both Alex and Sol come to terms with some major issues in their lives. There are a number of coincidences that look like they came from the plot of a sitcom or a tv movie, so things come together much neater than they would in real life. It's a quick read, and despite some things being pretty obvious, I found myself wanting to keep reading to find out how some things were resolved. You also learn some good Yiddish insults, that could come in handy. Most of the book is pretty funny, but there are also some sad moments. All in all, a pretty good read that middle schoolers, especially, would enjoy. Check it out!

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