Monday, June 1, 2009

Jon Scieszka: Knucklehead

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Jon Scieszka is a creative genius.

Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing Up Scieszka is a hilarious memoir (geared toward the 9-12 set) filled with short vignettes about what it's like to grow up in a family of six kids. Six boys, no less. And just in case that family structure alone isn't comedy itself, try this: six boys in Catholic school.

Of course, growing up in a family of six kids myself (we were five girls, one boy...comedy of another sort), the stories made me grin, guffaw, and repeatedly force my husband to read and re-read chapters. It's that kind of book. The kind you have to share because it's just cruel to keep that much funny to yourself.

After the first couple chapters, I decided to ration myself and only read one chapter a night. I didn't want it to end, and what better way to go to sleep than after a good chuckle?

More than anything, Knucklehead is a testament to the strength of sibling relationships. Jon Scieszka's book illuminates the mystery of how you can sell your brother his own shirt, get him to eat a burnt out cigarette butt, pee on him, and even break his collar bone, and still come out laughing on the other side.

Here's an NPR story about Kucklehead (with some excerpts from the book at the bottom of the page).

Here's a great Reading Rockets interview with Jon Scieszka about growing up with five brothers, teaching elementary school, his unconventional style, and how to get boys interested in reading:

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