Boy O’Boy – Brian Doyle

Boy O’Boy is a painful book.  It reminds me of Tess of the d’Ubervilles.  Terrible life from beginning to end, except Martin doesn’t die.  I’m not sure what to do with it.  Boy O’Boy is the story of Martin, a boy growing up at the end of the second world war.  In setting it has similarities to Rex Zero but that is definitely where the similarities end.  This book runs counter to Nodelman’s stereotypes in children’s literature.  It is sad and complicated and not particularly hopeful.  I did not enjoy this book.  I find it hard to imagine someone who might.  I don’t know if I would included in a K-8 library collection.  It is better suited to a 9-12 collection.  Interesting read.  Thematic ties WWII, sexual abuse, families, disability, poverty, urban life.

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Filed under children's lit, curriculum, education, library, literacy

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