Dear Thaddeus…

I had food poisoning and was somewhat miserable, which may have been a bad time to finish The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter by John Gosselink.  This wasn’t one of those books that grabbed me and forced me to read onward, but I did find myself chuckling quite a bit.  Thaddeus is a middle schooler who has been placed in perma-ISS for organizing his own “True Emergency Drill” throwing his school into chaos.  The book is set up to show correspondence between Thaddeus, the principal, and several other characters that get caught up in his never-ending attempts to improve the world around him.   There are lots of funny bits that reveal Thaddeus to be very bright, well-intentioned, and perhaps not the most empathetic individual.  It turns out that he has an issue at the root of his almost compulsive need to make things “better”, and I kept wanting more to come of this, reading for a moment when Thaddeus really confronts this issue, but it never comes.  I guess that wasn’t the point of the book, but I wanted it to be.  I certainly could see a few of my past students in Thaddeus and his antics, and there is a bit I particularly enjoyed where Thaddeus says some pretty hilarious things about mimes.  But this is the first book of the summer that I don’t have a clear picture of its best audience.  I know a kid or two or ten like Thaddeus, but would they enjoy this book?  Probably not–they are like Thaddeus, and don’t want teachers finding their reading material for them!  I guess this will sit on my mental backburner until I figure out a good fit for it.

Thursday morning bonus material–I joined in the Day in a Sentence over at Wallwisher, sponsored by Kevin of Kevin’s Meandering Mind fame.  You could do that too, you know, because it is easy, and way less nerdy than, say, using a flashlight to read the latest edition of Words Their Way during rolling blackouts on a Wednesday night…yeah, WAY less nerdy.


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