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Book Review: HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT

Book Review: How to Say Goodbye in Robot
(A new YA by Natalie Standiford)

What is the source of most embarrassment and annoyance for teens? I would bet the answer is…their families! In Natalie Standiford’s How to Say Goodbye in Robot, she adeptly illustrates just how exasperating families can be when you are an ordinary teen just trying to find your niche in a new place.

When Beatrice and her parents relocate for the umpteenth time, she has to squeeze herself into a school where all of the roles have been taken – it is Senior year, after all. On her first day, in the morning assembly, the alphabetical seating arrangement places her next to Jonah, aka Ghost boy. He is a non-entity in the school’s hierarchy and is alternately shunned, ridiculed, or ignored.

As the story develops, Beatrice’s home life worsens, Jonah’s family is embroiled in a tortuous mystery, and a loving friendship grows between the two classmates. The twists Standiford takes are unpredictable and refreshing. After I finished the novel (with a few tissues in hand) I went back to revisit some of my favorite passages. Her skill is writing characters that are believable, but quirky.

The themes in this novel include friendship, family relationships, love, trust, belonging, bullying, and acceptance. (As an aside, I want to note this YA book does have a few swear words, but they are not used gratuitously.)

I highly recommend this novel for its fresh approach and Standiford’s skilled writing. Students will enjoy discussing the school dynamics, friendships between males and females, family relationships, and loss. It would be great for teen Literature Circles.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
wordsrmylife
Jan. 14th, 2010 11:50 pm (UTC)
Ooo, just brought this one home from the library. It just moved up in the pile, thanks to your review.
marjorielight
Jan. 15th, 2010 12:00 am (UTC)
Thanks!
Ooohhh! That's very sweet of you to say! I can't wait to hear your comments and to find out your reactions to her characterizations. (And that ending....)
cynthialord
Jan. 15th, 2010 08:58 am (UTC)
Will you be at the ALA LJ meet-up on Saturday at 1? I would love to see you and Stephanie.
marjorielight
Jan. 15th, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC)
We would Love to see you two! I did not know about the lj meetup! Where is it? We will be there!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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