Thursday, May 30, 2013

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading, by Joe Greenwald

As an English teacher, I feel like I'm obligated to HATE a book that professes to guide students through a life of NOT reading, but I really enjoyed Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading
The book is narrated by Charlie Joe himself, a middle schooler whose reputation for not reading is his claim to fame. When this book picks up, Charlie's reputation is in jeopardy, and he may actually have to read the first book of his life. Split between narration and Charlie Joe's actual "Tips" - 25 in all - for not reading, the book chronicles his experiences and even delves into a social experiment about cliques and kids' identification with certain groups. 

I loved the book and loved Charlie's humor. For example, one of Charlie's "Tips" outlines that the library can be your friend, when you consider the movie section, the girls you can potentially pick up there, and that it's a place to text free of your parents' questions. However, he then goes on to say that it can also be your enemy, 

"Take the girl out of the equation, add your mother and your sister, and a complete lack of texting, and the library becomes a kind of hell on earth. A pit of despair. A black hole of desperation and misery." 

I (unfortunately) know that several of my students feel this way about reading and about libraries...I'd be curious to read their "Guides for Not Reading"!

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