Saturday, June 05, 2010

Book 7: Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything In It

Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything In It by Sundee T. Frazier

I was happy to see that MotherReader fudged the age requirement a bit, because this is listed as grade 4.5 reading level, but it's the book from my pile that I most wanted to read. And if our Gracious Leader can do it, so can I!

Brendan Buckley, the child of a black father and a white mother, is an intensely curious, scientifically-minded ten-year-old boy, trying to answer two complicated questions. Why doesn't he know his mother's father? And why are white people sometimes mean to black people?

When he accidentally runs into his grandfather Ed at a minerals exhibit, Brendan discovers they have a lot in common. And he feels compelled to try to solve the mystery of his grandfather's absence from his life... but he may not like the answer he gets.

Frazier takes what I guess could be called a post-modern approach to biracial identity here, and expresses it with sincerity and conviction. Although Brendan's life is not free of racism, he's not caught up in a black identity or a white identity, but open to all aspects of himself. His energy, commitment and intelligence make him a very likable character and I was moved to tears by his final, triumphant self-acceptance. (9 & up)

198 pages
Reading: 1 hour, 18 minutes
Blogging: 25 minutes

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Anonymous beth bligged...

I liked this one. It was one of the finalists for a kids choice award out here, but no one but me in the family got the devour-a-list disease so the kids haven't read it yet.

6/05/2010 5:45 PM  
Blogger Buffy bligged...

This has been on my Amazon recs for a while. I just added it to my list -- thanks for the review!

6/06/2010 7:44 AM  

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