Thursday, February 4, 2021

Turtle Boy by M. Evan Wolkenstein - ADVISABLE

Turtle Boy
by M. Evan Wolkenstein.
392 pages. Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House), 2020. $17 

Content: G. 



7th grader Will Levine loves turtles. Some of the kids at school call him Turtle Boy - but not because of his pets, it's because he has a funny looking chin. His Rabbi is helping him get his 40 hours of service for his Bar Mitzva, and arranges for Will to meet RJ, a teen a bit older than Will who is hospitalized and needs a friend. RJ is outgoing and a bit much for Will initially, but as their friendship grows, RJ helps Will "get out of his shell" by asking him to complete the last few things on RJ's bucket list. 

I liked the range of differences in this book. Will's needing surgery for his chin, RJ's Mitochondrial Disease, and even Will's friend Max was dealing with something. Some good issues addressed as well, death of a parent or friend, our fragile ecosystem (yes, Will's turtles were taken from the wild), health and emotional concerns, and fear of the unknown. The subplot of contractors taking over a beloved park has been in several books I've read this year, so I spotted that resolution right away. Over all, a nice read - Jewish kids will appreciate all the cultural and religious references.

Lisa Librarian

No comments: