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Saturday Book Review: “Episodes: My Life as I See It,” “The Long Secret” and “The Day Leo Said I Hate You”

November 13th, 2010

On the coffeetable:

I’m sneaking in a few book reviews here and there, and some light reading, too, but the sad reality is I have too many bigass textbooks right now to do much of anything “extra.” Now I can see that this is why I put off grad school for so long. Goodbye, free time. (And when you’re a mom, working inside or outside of the home, an artist, writer, knitter, person who volunteers, someone who enjoys eating something other than pizza… shoot. Who has free time, even without university on top of it all?)

Blaze Ginsberg (son of writer Debra Ginsberg) is a young adult who has autism. “Episodes: My Life as I See It” (Roaring Brook Press, New York, 2009, $16.99, 274 pages) is his story. It’s good and it’s unlike anything else I have ever read on the topic. I especially like the way the book is formatted in the style that Ginsberg interprets thoughts, memories, stories. It’s stream-of-consciousness, it’s how he sees thing, and he takes his readers along for the ride. Nice work.

“The Long Secret,” by Louise Fitzhugh (Harper & Row Publishers, New York, 1965, 275 pages), is the highly-underrated sequel to “Harriet the Spy.” It’s one of my all-time favorites and homework be damned — I’m going to finish it this afternoon. OK, I’m doing some homework first, but Harriet, you are my girl. Thanks for always being there for me.

“Boy,” said Harriet, “how love can poison the mind. Listen, I’m going to come around here even more. This is such a big place, they obviously get more notes; so that note leaver will have to be here more often.”

Beth Ellen nodded sappily, her eyes never leaving Bunny for a minute.

“The Day Leo Said I Hate You,” by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Molly Bang (Little, Brown and Company, New York, Boston, unpaged, $16.99) is a brand-new release. (You may remember Molly Bang from her classic picture book, “When Sophie Gets Angry — Really, Really Angry…”) This one is a really good picture book for the little hotheads in your life.

Happy Saturday!

— wm

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