Friday, January 25, 2013

33 Minutes by Todd Hasak-Lowy

Sam Lewis and Morgan Sturtz used to be best friends. But now, Morgan's going to kick Sam's butt! Sam has until recess to prepare -- just 33 minutes from now. But why is Morgan out to get Sam? You'll find out soon enough. 

So the first mini-challenge as part of the Debut Author Challenge being hosted over at Hobbitsies was to read a book outside of our comfort zone. To be honest, there's not a whole lot outside of my comfort zone. It may seem as though I took the easy way out in choosing Todd Hasak-Lowy's juvie debut, 33 Minutes, but middle grade definitely falls outside of my usual purview. And middle grade that doesn't concern magic or fairy tales... yeah.

I thought 33 Minutes was fun. I wouldn't have read it if not for this challenge, though I'm admittedly a fan of the Wimpy Kid movies (btw, 33 Minutes would be a fun Wimpy-like adaptation!). It's about a 7th grade boy who gets in an argument with his best friend and it turns into the threat of a recess fight.

I remember those days -- the days of kids chanting "Fight! Fight! Fight!" and pushing their way over to see the blood fly. Though there was rarely blood involved at my school. Or maybe it could be that I wasn't interested in seeing the fights and usually headed off in the opposite direction any time there was threat of one.

But I do remember the days of schoolyard arguments and fights with best friends that seemed like the end of the world. I also am not too old to recall the lunchroom funk and the time when you realize that you and your friends seem to suddenly have nothing in common anymore. (It doesn't last forever!)

So yeah, while I wouldn't normally have picked up this book, I had no trouble getting back to the twelve-year-old mindset for a couple of hours and enjoying Hasak-Lowy's message. It was a cute read - and (like Wimpy) it has lots of fun illustrations, too!

While this is Hasak-Lowy's first kids' release, it is not his first book. He is the author of Captives and a short story collection entitled The Task of This Translator.

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