Thursday, February 21, 2008

What Mrs N's Been Reading - Big Mouth and Ugly Girl

Just finished Joyce Carol Oates' Big Mouth and Ugly Girl. It's another book that deals with school bullying and violence. It's told in alternating chapters from the points of view of Ursula, aka Ugly Girl, and Matt, aka Big Mouth. Matt, a bit of a class clown, makes joking comments about blowing up the school and is reported by someone who overhears him. The police are called in, and they take him out of school for questioning. Then the rumor mill kicks in, and things really get blown out of proportion. Ursula, who also overheard Matt's conversation, assumes that things will be cleared up, because the whole incident is just ridiculous, but when that doesn't happen, she decides, against her parents wishes, to step forward. You'd think that would be the end of the book, but things are just getting started. Overall, it's a very good book - another one that would make a good discussion starter. My only real complaint is that Ursula frequently refers to herself in the third person. I've known actual people who do that, and it really weirds me out. If that doesn't bother you, check this one out. Enjoy!

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