--Welcome to my Tweendom blog
Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freezeby Alan Silberberg
MILO is the funny and poignant story, told through text and cartoons, of a 13-year-old boy’s struggle to come to terms with the loss that hit the reset button on his life. Loveable geek Milo Cruikshank finds reasons for frustration at every turn, like people who carve Halloween pumpkins way too soon (the pumpkins just rot and get lopsided) or the fact that the… See more details below
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MILO is the funny and poignant story, told through text and cartoons, of a 13-year-old boy’s struggle to come to terms with the loss that hit the reset button on his life. Loveable geek Milo Cruikshank finds reasons for frustration at every turn, like people who carve Halloween pumpkins way too soon (the pumpkins just rot and get lopsided) or the fact that the girl of his dreams, Summer, barely acknowledges his existence while next-door neighbor Hilary won't leave him alone. The truth is – ever since Milo's mother died nothing has gone right. Now, instead of the kitchen being full of music, his whole house has been filled with Fog. Nothing’s the same. Not his Dad. Not his sister. And definitely not him. In love with the girl he sneezed on the first day of school and best pals with Marshall, the “One Eyed Jack” of friends, Milo copes with being the new kid (again) as he struggles to survive a school year that is filled with reminders of what his life “used to be."
--Welcome to my Tweendom blog
Seventh grader Milo Cruikshank narrates and illustrates an up-and-down year in yet another new school. He works his way through a crush and finds both friends who share his interests and an adult he can talk to about the ways he still misses his mom, who died two years earlier. Looking at the cover and even reading the first two chapters won't prepare readers for the emotional content of this moving book. Milo's mother's death left a gaping, silent hole in his family. Over the course of the year he finds a way to fill that void, get his father and older sister talking about her again and say goodbye properly. The accessible text is full of cartoons illustrating and occasionally carrying the action; Milo makes lists, too. Close to failing math, socially inept and awkward with girls, even one who simply wants to be a friend, he is easy to care about. Middle-school readers will find his school life familiar and painfully funny, but they may be surprised by the poignancy of his story. (Fiction. 10-14)
Read an Excerpt
SUMMER GOODMAN NEVER KNEW WHAT hit her. That’s because it was me, and as soon as I collided with her in the hallway—scattering every one of her perfectly indexed index cards—I disappeared into the mob of kids who’d arrived to help realphabetize her life.
I love Summer Goodman but she barely knows I exist, which I’m pretty okay with because when you love someone, they don’t have to do anything—and Summer does nothing, so I think it’s all going to work out great.
One possible problem is, I’ve never actually spoken to Summer, except the time I said “sorry,” which was after I sneezed on the back of her neck the first day in science class.
It was a really wet one—and she didn’t sneeze back on me or have me suspended, so that’s just another reason I think she’s so great.
What isn’t so great is that I’m the “new kid” again, which isn’t as bad as it sounds unless you think about how awful it is. That’s why I put all my focus on the more important stuff, like Summer Goodman and how my germs have actually bonded directly onto her skin!
The way I see it, surviving this year is all I have to do. Start to finish in one whole piece and then I win. Of course, being me, winning doesn’t come easy, which is why I created an alias, a supercool guy who will step in when I mess up or can’t talk or both.
Dabney St. Claire is mysterious, smart, and popular without even trying. I talk to him out loud sometimes, but mostly he’s just in my head, along for the ride, telling me how he’d do what I’m doing, only without doing it so wrong.
My sister thinks there’s something the matter with me, which is why she tells her friends I have a metal plate in my head, which would actually be a cool thing because then I would never have to fly on airplanes because my skull would set off alarms. Her friends always look at me with sad puppy-dog eyes, and even though I don’t have a metal plate or even a paper plate in my head, I stare back at them and speak my favorite language: SAPTOGEMIXLIKS.
This is just another reason my sister wants to move again.
© 2010 Alan Silberberg
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