Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I Funny: A Middle School Story by James Patterson

I Funny: A Middle School StoryI read an advance copy of this book, and I gave it a rating of five out of five. I just saw a commercial for the book on television today. Jamie Grimm is in a wheelchair and uses humor to deal with his life. "Did you hear about the karate champion who joined the army? First time he saluted, he nearly killed himself." He compares his home life to Harry Potter living with the Dursleys. He lives with his aunt, and her family doesn't express any emotions. The school bully also happens to be his stepbrother. Then, Jamie's uncle, who he does not live with, suggests that Jamie enter a young comedian contest being held in New York City. He's not sure that he's funny enough, but his good friends at school tell him he's hilarious. Jamie enters the contest and learns a lot about himself in the process. His classmates and family learn a lot about him too.

The book is funny. Jamie is constantly making jokes, even in serious situations. It gets to the point where Cool Girl, a lovely girl who befriends him out of the blue, forces Jamie to go five minutes without being funny. She actually times him. I was wondering where the plot was headed, but I began to suspect that Jamie hadn't really accepted being crippled. He didn't talk about his parents either, so I suspected he had been involved in a tragic accident. The author did a nice job of mixing the humor with seriousness. The first half of the book was filled with the funnies, and the second half of the book got into the serious message of the book. However, the humor continued throughout. His last joke in the book? "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"

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