Tashjian, Janet My Life As a Book
Henry Holt/macmillan children's pub group 2010 210p 16.99 978-0-8050-8903-5 elm/ms family life - Summer - Secrets VG-BN
Derek Fallon is 12 years old and a holy terror. His parents are at their wits end when they decide to send him to a Learning Camp where he will be reading and writing to catch up in school. Derek does not easily into the routine of the learning camp until he uncovers a secret that changes his life.
For Derek a regular day begins with mischief and ends with mischief. At times his parents feel that Dennis the menace has invaded their son body. Tired of all his antics his mom decide to send Derek to a learning camp. Where he will be doing school work while hopefully he is having fun. However, Camp has yet to begin and school just let out and so his mom needs to get a babysitter for Derek so she can do her errands. Derek challenges the babysitter but she is quick on her feet and does not let him get into trouble on her watch. She does mention an incident that stop Derek cold in his tracks. He does not recall the incident and when he asked his mother about it, she dismissed it as nothing. Now really curious, Derek begins an investigation and what he uncovers changes him overnight.
The boy in the this story is truly scary and in need of strong discipline. His antics border on dangerous and outrages and out of control. The good news is that as the story progresses he seems to find order and wonders about the incident that could have easily caused his death but instead was the cause of someone else's death. This then becomes his goal to uncover what happened that fateful day on the beach when he was a baby.
I admit that the ending of the story more than makes up for the distressing beginning and the perfectly horrible child. By the end of the book, Derek sees the errors of his ways and the author ends the books on a very positive note.
Realistic Fiction Diaz, Magna