Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Waiting on Wednesday: The Next Great Paulie Fink by Ali Benjamin
The Next Great Paulie Fink by Ali Benjamin. 368 p. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, April 16, 2019. 9780316380881.
Publisher synopsis: When Caitlyn Breen enters the tiny Mitchell School in rural Mitchell, Vermont, she is a complete outsider: the seventh grade has just ten other kids, and they've known each other since kindergarten. Her classmates are in for a shock of their own: Paulie Fink—the class clown, oddball, troublemaker, and evil genius—is gone this year.
As stories of Paulie's hijinks unfold, his legend builds, until they realize there's only one way to fill the Paulie-sized hole in their class. They'll find their next great Paulie Fink through a reality-show style competition, to be judged by the only objective person around: Caitlyn, who never even met Paulie Fink. Who was this kid, anyway—prankster, performance artist, philosopher, or fool? Caitlyn's quest to understand Paulie is about to teach her more about herself than she ever imagined.
Told via multiple voices, interviews, and other documents, The Next Great Paulie Fink is a lighthearted yet surprisingly touching exploration of how we build up and tear down our own myths...about others, our communities, and ourselves.
I read about this happy news in a PW article a couple of weeks ago. Love the cover, though it did trigger a "Cover Coincidence" post. As I noted there, I am psyched for this. I adored Benjamin's debut, The Thing about Jellyfish as do my students. I have two copies and they are usually checked out. Students usually come back with their friend in tow for me to check the book out to them! They also frequently ask for more books by the author. So thrilled I can now say yes!