Friday, July 27, 2007

godless by Pete Hautman

I recommend this book for: middle and high school

I love Pete Hautman's books. He does a great unreliable narrator who you really want to listen to, great characters, and situations that are believable and easy to relate to even if they sound ridiculous. Case in point:

Jason is an overweight teen with few friends and parents who are obsessed with him being a good Catholic, even though he doesn't really believe in God at all. His best friend is Shinn, a skinny nerd obsessed with collecting and studying snails. One day they decide to begin their own religion, and their deity is the town's water tower - the Ten Legged One. It's just a game at first, but as they begin to win converts, things rapidly spiral out of Jason's control, with some pretty serious consequences. That might sound ridiculous when you read my description of it, but Hautman makes it into a compelling, fast-paced novel. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from the sacred text Shinn writes for the new religion, which foreshadows the contents and adds more flavor.

It made me think of my middle school days, when someone decided to start a group that proclaimed themselves Aliens. Someone else decided they would start a group of Alien Fighters, and soon the whole 7th grade was waiting in line to be chosen as one or the other. I don't think that got really out of control beyond determining who you sat with at lunch, but it made me think of what power kids who are leaders have over their friends - a major theme of godless. If the girl who had started the aliens thing hadn't had that power, nobody would have jumped on - in fact, it died out when the head Alien Fighter decided she'd had enough and passed off the title to me, one of the geeky powerless ones. Thought-provoking and interesting, godless is a definite winner.

1 comment:

P.S. 212 Book Credit said...

I love the fact you took the time to review this book and you sare to continue to others. Even though they're are many other blogs about books, including mine, you connected your personal life to it. Maybe all of our blogs can let a fellow student learn new ideas and great discussions about the books. I've read some of your books as well, all work together to make a big idea. GREAT JOB!