Posted February 24, 2009on:
Review: Zen and the Art of Faking It
by Jordan Sonnenblick
Scholastic Press, 2007
You might think an adopted kid’s life would be pretty good, right? Not so for San Lee. His dad is in prison, his mom has just moved him for the umpteenth time, this time to Pennsylvania, and he’s the new kid in school, again. Not quite by design, partly to pass the time and to make time with a girl named Woody, he decides to pass himself off as a cool and unruffled Zen Buddhist practitioner. It’s winter, but he parks himself on a rock right in front of the school before the bus arrives and meditates (on how his butt is turning to ice.)
“Woody stepped right in front of me, guitar case in one gloved hand. Jones was wearing gloves too. Ha! I spit on gloves. Gloves are for those who have not mastered their inner soul force. Or for those whose moms have money — one or the other.”
He scours the library for books on Buddhism, spouts Zen sayings in class, does charity work (along side Woody, of course) and begins to fool almost everyone. Bit by bit his ‘practice’ has it’s effect on him, Woody, even the B basketball team. Things are going well. Then it all falls apart. San finds he has a lot of back tracking to do to square things again. Will he lose the girl, get knocked on his not-so-Zen tush or ? You’ll want to find out.
This book is a what I’d call a age group buster, as it as likely to be enjoyed by adults as it is children. It’s funny as heck, touching, smart and an all-around great read. If I had stars on this blog I would give it all five.
Do you know any squirrels who are afraid of trees?
Meet one in my new book series, due out in January.
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