Monday, August 6, 2018
Middle Grade Monday and Arc Review: Mascot by Antony John
Mascot by Antony John. 330 p. Harper/ HarperCollins Publishers, September 11, 2018.9780062835642. (Review from arc courtesy of publisher.)
Happy Monday from Boston, TMS Readers! I'm here to attend a two-day library conference. On the way up yesterday, I stopped at one of my favorite places in the entire world, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! There are three galleries, one devoted to the art of Eric Carle and two rotating exhibit spaces. Paddington Bear turns 60 this year, so the exhibit had lots of art from all the Paddington books and other fun facts. And the other room had art from Leo and Diane Dillon - who won back to back Caldecott Awards.
Middle Grade Monday features Mascot by Antony John. I will tell you right off that I just loved this book! It's one of my favorites of 2018 - great opening lines, great voice, memorable characters, brilliantly funny dialog, cringeworthy moments, surprises and a tear or two.*
Seventh grader Noah Savino has an attitude problem. It stinks. It's understandable though, because Noah is confined to a wheelchair as a result of a car accident that killed his father. Last spring, he was playing catcher on his Little League team; this fall, his teammates barely talk to him, except for Logan, who seems to relish humiliating Noah. He's trying to negotiate seventh grade, PE and missing his dad and it's pretty hard. Before you turn away saying, I don't want a sad book, let me say that I laughed through most of it. Noah is funny both intentionally and not. So is the new kid. His name is Ruben Spencer Hardesty, who makes an impressive entrance to class on his first day.
Now, I will throw you a bit of a curveball and say that Mascot is not yet published. Sorry! It's coming September 11, so you don't have to wait too long! In the meanwhile, you can try his dystopian, Elemental or his YA realistic fiction, Five Flavors of Dumb.
Mascot will be a book with wide appeal. Great for fans of baseball, sad books, humorous books, books with a possibility of romance, school stories, friendship stories. Really, any sort of reader should love this one. It won't sit on the shelf!
*Most of this review appeared on my TMS Reads group page and copied here instead of me writing a more formal review. I did want to add that John got the medical stuff spot on. Many of you may know that I am a stickler for that. I thought he did a fantastic job conveying the frustration, grief and anger that any person recovering from a catastrophic injury would experience.