Friday, October 17, 2014

Stupid by Kim Firmston

 For a father to call his son "stupid" constantly is perhaps the worst thing imaginable but this is the word Martin's dad constantly uses to describe his son. Martin is sixteen and is not exactly an A student. It bothers him that his younger sister Carly makes good grades and is the apple of his dad's eye. Besides his struggles in school, Martin isn't good at sports either which is one less thing his dad can brag about. What he is good at is filming and it is on one nighttime filming shoot at an abandoned brewing company that he meets Stick, a parkour enthusiast. The pair quickly bond and Martin tells stick that he can film he and his friends doing parkour.  Stick encourages Martin to enter the film into a contest to which the latter reluctantly agrees.

   Martin's academic woes at school continue which leads to frequent fiery encounters with his dad who doesn't seem to be the most patient individual. His dad is a frequent Googler and then acts on whatever the search results turn up. This is why poor Martin has a ton of Ritalin which he doesn't take. The story is written from Martin's point of view so we see how he describes his study routine and we share his disappointment when after all the effort he expends his grades still don't go up. After one particularly fiery argument with his dad he tries to confide in Stick but Stick's reaction is not what he expected and Martin learns that Stick does not exactly come from a nuclear family.
Stick proves to be a good influence on Martin though and it is he who helps Martin develop a plan for dealing with his academic woes. Martin begins equating life struggles with parkour obstacles and developing strategies to overcome them. I like that the book talked about issues both social and personal. Martin as it turned out had a problem that could be easily detected and fixed. From the various descriptions in the story I guessed what the problem was and I was a bit ticked off in the end because no one around Martin detected it earlier. (I suspect that in real life this may not have happened but it served as an effective plot device in this book). There is some inappropriate language used so I would recommend this book for ages 14+.

No comments:

Post a Comment