Wednesday, July 8, 2009

39. The Rule of Won - Stefan Petrucha

Published 2008
Walker & Co.
227 pages
For: Middle School up
Rating: 5

This is a read-in-one-long-sitting book. Once begun, you have to find out where it's going.

Caleb Dunne is a self-proclaimed slacker, perhaps a sophomore or junior in high school. His perky girlfriend, Vicky, is running for student body president, and not happy with his uncaring attitude. So she invites him to a "Crave", a meeting of students who have read The Book of One. The Crave is led by Ethan Skinson, new to the school, and an "expert" on the teachings of the book. And what are those teachings? That the universe only gives you what you ask for. Good or bad.

So, as a unit, the kids decide to come up with a crave and chant for it over and over, together and alone. When the school gets funding, everyone thinks it's because of them. And when they win a basketball game (the NEVER win), they think it's because of all the chanting and belief in The Book of One. But when Caleb, who is still not sure he believes in any of this, challenges Ethan to let them vote on the next crave, the corner turns. They end up choosing the wish that everyone passes the upcoming Algebra test. It happens - but because the algebra teacher is in a bad car accident. Things start getting darker and darker and more and more out of control. And although Caleb is a slacker, he is wise and unafraid and proceeds with honor and humor.

Humor. There's lots of it in this book. I enjoyed it greatly. There's a prologue that I wish I'd gone back to once or twice during my reading, it gives some interesting foreshadowing, and I wonder how it would have changed my thinking as the reading progressed.

Thought-provoking. Gang mentality. Following blindly. Having a mind of your own. Yippee, Caleb. You're very endearing. I'd love to know what you're doing now.

While hunting for a decent bookcover to add to this, I came across a pretty cool website for kid's book reviews. And it has a
great, much more detailed review.

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