Friday, June 5, 2009

Jolted: Newton Starker's Rules for Survival by Arthur Slade

This book was a disappointment. Newton, the main character, is extremely unsympathetic. Whiny, arrogant, and spiteful, even his gradual change into a better person at the end of the story leaves the reader cold.

 His new friends, Violet and Jacob, are one-dimensional characters and no reason for their interest in the extremely unattractive Newton is given. The construction of the plot is confusing and haphazard; cooking recipes and excerpts from the school's survival textbook litter the bland plot and the whole structure of the school itself is extremely vague. There are a few moments of humor, but on the whole readers looking for the promised adventure/survival story won't be placated with a few gruesome insect-eating scenes and a miraculous pig.

Verdict: I purchased this on the strength of the description and reviews and was disappointed. I've only gotten a few kids to read it. I'm clearly not alone, as the hardcover is already out of print.

ISBN: 978-0385747004; Published March 2009 by Wendy Lamb Books; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library

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