Monday, November 21, 2016

Memoirs of a Sidekick by David Skuy

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Told entirely from the perspective of a somewhat shy seventh grader named Adrian, this is the story of Adrian and Boris who have a secret hideout, code names and dozens of escape plans for when danger is near.

The book is divided into sections each with its own theme. There is an overarching plot however and the sections each contribute to the book's resolution. I admired the boys' naivete and good intentions (they are socially and environmentally conscious) although as a parent of young sons I did find myself shaking my head now and then.

Bullies are always bad especially the sneak bullies, the ones who are model kids and somehow manage to charm grownups. One such bully is the boys' antithesis, Robert. Like many bullies he has his cronies who tag along with him and laugh at his tired jokes and gags.

Politics is a facet of life that cannot be escaped and we find that in this novel the same is true. Boris decides that he wants to be Student Council President and the two hatch a series of operations designed to win the support of key voting blocs in their school

Recent elections have shown that pools cannot be trusted and Adrian feels the same as B-ster (one of Boris' many nicknames) prepares for what is perhaps the most important election in the school's history. The ending is somewhat predictable but this is after all a book aimed at middle grades. I recommend it for kids in grades 3 and above.  Some realisitic fiction read alikes to this book are Chris Rylander's The Fourth Stall and Amy Rylander's The Popularity Papers.

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