Thursday, September 22, 2011

Neon Colored Spider Webs

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I don't think I've heard my boys laugh over a book since Diary of the Wimpy Kid.

That is until I recently read aloud Neon-Colored Spider Webs by Tad Troilo.

It's definitely the "nerd-factor-appeal." For my boys it's almost a guaranteed winner if the main character is a nerd. In Neon-Colored Spider Webs, Stewart is West Plain High's newest nerd. In typical nerd fashion, Stewart wears glasses, is brainy, and is slightly on the dumpy side. His body parts even have conversations with each other which my kids found amusing. Stewart might not have been scoring any points in the cool department, but within reading the first few pages of this book, I knew I'd scored big in the mom-picked-a-good-read-aloud department!

Follow Stewart during an entire week of school where he contends against the second biggest bully in order to win back what he thinks is Big Pops' most prized possession. Poor Stewart, Big Pops is his new guardian, and he has good reason to be a little afraid of what he might do if he can't return the missing item. Somehow, in the midst of all Stewart's trials and tribulations, he begins to feel a sense of connectedness, but will this be enough to finally make him feel as if he belongs?

Neon-Colored Spider Webs was an enjoyable read aloud for my kids and me. It was humorous but at the same time realistic in the sense that it portrayed a kid who had to deal with being forced into less-than-ideal circumstances. It also sparked great discussions about lying and gambling, and according to our own family's values, why they are not healthy.

My kids and I were intrigued by the title, and I thought it was a very clever one. I wanted to know more about it, so I emailed the author. Since I don't want to give too much away, here's just a snippet of what he said:

"I like it because it doesn't make a lot of sense. It appears in a dream, yet we don't dream in color (I think that's true, isn't it?), it appears to Stewart just briefly, yet it earns a spot on an important list, and really, I'm not sure I could tell you EXACTLY what it means myself, which I think is part of it's charm."

The title was definitely my favorite part of the book, and I think you and your children would have fun discusssing it, too. It might even make a great discussion question for an assignment or a report. Grab your copy today at Amazon!

I received this book from the author as a gift and was not obligated to write this review. My kids and I enjoyed it and wanted to share!

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