The Encyclopedia of Me
By Karen Rivers
(Arthur A. Levine Books, Hardcover, 9780545310284, 247pp.)
Publication Date: September 2012
List Price: $16.99*
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A is for "Tink Aaron-Martin," "Aardvark," and "Amazing" in this wonderful alphabetical novel!
Tink Aaron-Martin has been grounded AGAIN after an adventure with her best friend Freddie Blue Anderson. To make the time pass, she decides to write an encyclopedia of her life from "Aa" (a kind of lava--okay, she cribbed that from the real encyclopedia) to "Zoo" (she's never been to one, but her brothers belong there).
As the alphabet unfolds, so does the story of Tink's summer: more adventures with Freddie Blue (and more experiences in being grounded); how her family was featured in a magazine about "Living with Autism," thanks to her older brother Seb--and what happened after Seb fell apart; her growing friendship, and maybe more, with Kai, a skateboarder who made her swoon (sort of). And her own sense that maybe she belongs not under "H" for "Hideous," or "I" for "Invisible," but "O" for "Okay."
Written entirely in Tink's hilarious encyclopedia entries, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ME is both a witty trick and a reading treat for anyone who loves terrific middle-grade novels.
"Diminutive, biracial, freckled Isadora “Tink” Aaron-Martin is grounded for most of the summer after an incident with her best friend. She decides to write an encyclopedia, and in spite of the artificiality of the alphabetical format, Rivers has created a warm, funny, fast-paced story about an endearing middle schooler who keeps her cool and sense of humor when events spin out of control. Tink explains her role as the “Peacemaker” in a dysfunctional family whose lives tiptoe around the moods and rages of Tink’s autistic older brother, Seb. As the summer progresses she finds friendship and a tender and diffident love interest in the boy next door, is humiliated in a disastrous photo shoot for a magazine article about families living with autistic children, and becomes good at skateboarding, an activity that replaces the detested ballet classes she has been taking at her mother’s behest. When Seb becomes violent, leaving his twin brother badly hurt, Tink finally decides she has had enough of her peacemaking role. “Z” finds her in the arms of her boyfriend at the Zetroc Prom. Rivers delivers an appealingly heroine in Tink. She is original and authentic, and her story flows easily in spite of the tricky format." - Jane Barrer, School Library Journal starred review