Thursday, September 19, 2013
Being Henry David by Cal Armistead
I really liked this book... It starts with our main character waking up at Penn Station in New York having no idea who he is or why he is there. All he has to go on is a copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau which is sitting next to him. New York City doesn't work out well for him. Two teenage runaways help him out but then also get him into trouble with a drug pusher. "Henry" as he is calling himself decides to travel to Walden Pond hoping that being there will help him figure out who he is. Once her gets there he meets some new friends. One is a librarian and historian named Thomas who lets him stay at his house and helps him figure out who he is. You see Henry or "Hank" is really Danny and he caused an accident and is running away from the pain of it all.
Danny really struggles throughout the book with the "beast" inside him. He has to decide whether to face what he did or continue to run away. I really enjoyed the last few chapters as Danny runs away again but then comes to terms with what happened. The fact that he goes to Maine and Mt. Katahdin specifically made it that much better for me. I loved the tie ins to Walden and the insight into this troubled boy.
Unfortunately as much as I liked it the language will prevent me from having it in my grade 1 - 5 school. I will be giving it to the jr. high with high recommendations :)