________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 7. . . .October 19, 2012

cover

The Encyclopedia of Me.

Karen Rivers.
New York, NY: Arthur A. Levine Books (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada), 2012.
251 pp., hardcover, $18.99.
ISBN 978-0-545-31028-4.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Tara Stieglitz.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.

   

excerpt:

And at that exact second, I came up with the most brilliant, if awful, plan in the world to patch up my poor, damaged friendship with Freddie Blue and get back-to-school clothes at the same time.

The Mega Mall

It would be an ADVENTURE. And an ADVENTURE is all we would need to get back to being just regular Tink and FB, like we always had been, BFFs 4eva, etc. We would not let a boy come between us! Even if he was the only boy I might ever really, really like! Even if he did hang out with FB during my moment of fame! And even if FB still hadn't told me what happened! It would all be perfect again!

 

In many ways, The Encyclopedia of Me is a typical novel about a teen girl. The multi-racial protagonist and narrator, Tink, struggles with all of the things teen girls usually struggle with in this genre: parents, siblings, boys, and the social dynamics of friends and bullies. What really sets The Encyclopedia of Me apart from the rest of a genre that tends to be packed with nearly indistinguishable stories is that it is, as the title suggests, written in the form of an encyclopedia. Instead of being structured into chapters, the novel is in the form of alphabetical entries that, like a conventional encyclopedia, refer the reader to other entries for further clarification.

      In addition to having an unusual narrative structure, The Encyclopedia of Me is quite well-written, with believable characters that do not fit stark friend or bully stereotypes. Tink is a likable character, and the first person narration and confessional style make the novel very intimate and allow the reader to relate to Tink and the challenges she faces.

      The Encyclopedia of Me is a funny and engaging read, and the unconventional format sets it apart from other novels with similar themes.

Recommended.

Tara Stieglitz is a librarian at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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