Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Most Excellent Year (Teen Fiction)

Title: My Most Excellent Year: a Novel of Love, Mary Poppins & Fenway Park by Steve Kluger

Take a paper that needs to be written for school entitled "My Most Excellent Year" (well, that's what TC changes the title to be, anyway), journals, letters emails, lots of IMs, and three friends, and you have a great story. This very humorously written story is first about TC who has a passion for baseball and doesn't think he is popular, when in fact he his popular. He also misses his mother a lot. She died when he was little. His "brother" is Augie. They've been best friends since they were little and the connection is so strong that they consider each other brothers for life. They have their own spaces in each others' houses. Then there is Alejandra. She is the 'new girl' at their high school their freshman year. TC immediately falls in love, and writes Ale a note telling her that he is considering a relationship with her. She thinks he's terrible with his tactics.

It moves on from here. . . you learn about each of their lives and their perspectives. TC meets a little boy who loves Mary Poppins. He takes this boy, Hucky, under his wing, even learning American Sign Language so they can communicate. Augie comes out about his sexual orientation, but it's not really big news to everyone else. They've realized it for a long time. Everyone is very accepting. Ale discovers that she does not want to go into politics or anything else like that as her father expects. She loves singing and dancing. In the midst of this, there is email communication between the adults in this story, particularly between TC and Augie's fathers. Sometimes this is all quite humorous.

I loved this book. A fellow staff member at Joliet recommended it. Even though the book is rather long, it was really a quick read. I wanted to know how it ended. I cared passionately for the characters. I think adults will enjoy this book as much as teens.