Thursday, April 24, 2014

Egghead by Caroline Pignat

It's a rare thing when I finish a book in one evening, but that's what happened with Caroline Pignat's "Egghead".  I heard about this book a couple of weeks ago in one of my classes, when we were each asked to present a book geared at students in grades 4 and up.  One of my classmates presented this book and I decided to read it.

Written by a local Ottawa writer, this is a book that takes a look at bullying, and is set in a high school (St. Patrick's High School, here in Ottawa).  It is the story of Will Reid, a grade 9 student who just doesn't seem to fit in.  He's not really all that concerned about fitting in, but Shane, Brad and Devan, the school bullies turn it into a big deal.  Katie, Will's only friend wants to help but often feels torn between Will and other friends who want to be more popular.  She's also never quite sure what she should do to help.

Three different characters narrate the story, chapter by chapter.  Will's chapters are told in poems that he's written, then Katie and Devan each tell their parts in the story too.  I know some people don't like stories told in different voices like that, but I really enjoy it.  I like reading the different perspectives and I feel like you get to know the characters better that way.

I would like to know how St. Patrick's High School feels about being the setting for this story, as the school administration is portrayed as not doing very much and the teachers are perceived as not caring about their students.  But, as the story is told from the point of view of three teenagers, I can understand that a lot of high schoolers feel that way about the staff at their schools.

The bullying in this book is downright cruel in parts and can be difficult to read.  But I still recommend the book, especially for teens to see the effects of bullying.  It's a short read, and has received a lot of good reviews from teens on Goodreads.

If you give it a read, or have already, I'd like to know what you think.

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