BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Husky by Justin Sayre [in School Library Journal]

Husky by Justin Sayre on BookDragon via Library JournalDavis knows that every kid will “get boiled down to only one adjective…. It’s decided. There. Permanent.” Among his closest friends, Ellen is Mean, while Sophie is Pretty. Davis is “the Fat one, but everyone calls [him] husky.” He hopes to escape his adjective, but being not-cool, quiet, opera-addicted Davis isn’t easy with so many changes happening to family and friends.

What’s with his mother’s new laugh whenever Paolo’s around? Why do Paolo’s comments about dating girls bother him so much? Is Ellen done being mean? Is BFF-hood with Sophie over? Growing pains abound.

Sayre reads his own work, and his talent for creating distinct multiple voices –Davis’s grandmother as both harridan and nurturer with an Irish brogue is stupendous – eclipses his writing abilities. Although Sayre writes with ingenuity and humor, his tweenage protagonist’s self-absorption doesn’t spark the hoped-for empathy. Sayre’s thespian flair can’t quite remedy this cast of characters, all of whom can also be reduced to a single adjective – saintly mother, macho boyfriend, kooky grandmother.

Verdict: For a more resonating audiobook with a “husky” protagonist, try Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ instead.

Review“Multimedia,” School Library Journal, November 1, 2015

Readers: Middle Grade

Published: 2015


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