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My Important Thoughts About The Book:
Self-help books and taekwondo both play
large parts in Happy Kid!. Where did those two subjects come from?
I'm a sucker for self-help books on creativity and fitness, but I've been known to read
other kinds, too. In fact, I just ordered a new self-help book a couple of days ago. You
definitely can't assume that I don't like something just because I make jokes about it.
As far as taekwondo is concerned, I'm very much into writing what you know
about. It's easier, and it's always nice to sound as if you have some idea what
you're talking about. I trained at a taekwondo dojang for eleven years
and was a third dan black belt by the time I finished up. Taekwondo was the
only sport I could use in Happy Kid! and sound as if I had some idea what
I was talking about.
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The Critics' Important Thoughts About The Book...
|Booklist: "The essential darkness of Kyle's initial situation is
lightened by the humor that bubbles up from time to time throughout this intelligently
written novel." "
this is a rewarding novel of adolescent angst and
|The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books: "Basing a novel
around a self-help book risks didacticism, but the magical properties of the book balanced
with a healthy does of scatological humor (Jake has the ability to fart on command) make
this novel succeed as a warm and often very funny tale about making the best of a series
of bad situations. With its snappy, dead-on middle-school dialogue and unexpected plot
twists, this will give self-help and positive attitudes a new and improved sheen of
|The Horn Book: "Through this surreal lens, Gauthier offers comic
riffs on standardized testing, student placement (especially in AP classes), lunch rules,
teacher inanities, and student cliques, all of which afflict Kyle. Kids will groan in
recognition of absurd school bureaucracy and feel empathy for smart, self-deprecating
|Journal Enquirer: "Gail Gauthier
has written yet another
middle-school gem, one full of humor, irony, and even a lesson or two about accepting
|KLIATT: "Kyle's cynical, smart-alecky tone and humorous
predicaments will draw readers in...A fun, quick read for middle school and junior high
|Kirkus Reviews: "...slyly fanciful but unambiguously
pulls off the difficult feat of writing an
amiable, malice-free send-up of self-help
|School Library Journal: "Gauthier perfectly describes a typically
self-absorbed teenage boy who sees himself as the underdog. Her one-liners, rapid-fire
humor, and sharp ear for dialogue make this a quick, funny read. This portrait of middle
school will ring all too true to students who run that gauntlet daily."|
Read What The Blogs Have To Say...
|Named a Best Book of the Year by the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
|Nominated for the 2008-2009 Georgia
Children's Book Award|
|Nominated for Oklahoma's Sequoyah Book Award.|