Thursday, April 16, 2009

Room One

Obviously, it has been far too long since I've posted or shared any of the great books I've been reading.

And, let me tell you, as a student in the MFA program at Vermont College, I've been doing A LOT of reading. Since I already have this huge store of books to share, I should be updating on a much more regular basis.

So, let's get started.

Clements, Andrew. Room One. New York: Simon & Schuster: Audioworks, 2006.
I listened to the audio version of this book and really loved it. The cover seems a little young for the story, I was expecting about a fourth grade book, but I found the mystery a very compelling middle grade read.

Clements used third person to tell this story and about 90 percent of the book is from Ted’s point of view, but he does shift to other points of view occasionally. Unfortunately, he didn’t take full advantage of the shifting view points by using them only to convey important information that the reader wouldn’t have otherwise. In fact, much of the resolution of the story is conveyed through the epilogue using various methods including news reports and articles. It seems entirely possible that he could’ve stayed with Ted’s POV, making the reader identify more with the character.

Clements also wove the family impact of the Iraq war into the story, making the book very topical. I was particularly interested in that aspect, since it is a subplot in the manuscript I am currently revising.

I highly recommend this book. While the protagonist is a boy, the story features a very strong girl, providing appeal for both genders. You can bet I'll be adding more of Mr. Clements books to my reading list.

This book won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 2007.