Okay, so I love to read. I especially love to read children's books. From picture books to young adult, anything that has magic and mystery and wonder is for me. I find kids books to feature characters who embody these themes more frequently than adult books do, so on any visit to the library I am most often in the children's section than not. True to reading habit, I just finished a YA book called Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork. My friend Sarah, who heads up the children's section at Books Inc. on 4th St. in Berkeley, recommended this to me after we chatted about the best (and worst) kids books available right now.
Sarah was spot on. This story is so thoughtfully written and beautifully crafted I enjoyed every word. The protagonist. Marcelo, is a 17 year old boy who has something akin to Asperger's Syndrome and is forced to enter "The Real World" the summer before his senior year of High School. His actions over the summer will determine whether or not he is allowed to return to the school he has attended since first grade or be enrolled in the local public school instead.
Without being overly sentimental or preachy, the author creates a look inside the mind of a boy somewhere on the outside as he navigates his way into "The Real World." Next up.. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. Happy Reading!