February 10, 2009

The Rule of Won by Stefan Petrucha

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 4:15 am by suebe2

petruchaThe Rule of Won

by Stefan Petrucha

Walker and Company

 When this book was recommended to me, I read Teen, Inc. first.   Teen, Inc. grabbed me from the first and I loved the character’s voice. 

The Rule of Won didn’t grab me immediately but I think that part of the problem is that I’m reading it as a MOM.  You can’t spend all afternoon trying to motivate the Unmotivated to do his homework and simply adore the main character when he’s a slacker.  At least, not at first.  I stuck it out and if you don’t admire Caleb right away, I hope you’ll keep on reading too.  He grows on you.

Clearly, I’m not the only one annoyed by Caleb’s lack of get-up-and-go.  His girlfriend, Vicky, demands that he go to the Crave, an after school club based on the book The Rule of Won.  The first task assigned to the group by the club president is to chant a phrase several times a day about their school getting more funding.  BING.  More funding comes their way.  But was it a result of their action or did the club president know a grant had already been awarded. 

Then the basketball team wins a game when half of the other team is out with the flu.   A math test is cancelled when the teacher is in a serious car accident.  The explanation the Rule gives for negative happenings?  You get what you want even if you don’t realize that is what you’ve been asking for.  Classic blame the victim.

As Caleb comes to question the Rule, he finds himself once again on the outs with his fellow students but this time he is driven, against his slacker tendencies to do something about the wrong he sees all around him.  Whatever you do, don’t skip the Epilogue.    It is worth reading the whole book.

Give this book to the reluctant reader who doesn’t seem to see himself in much of what his teachers give him to read.  Caleb is recognizable in a way that is irritating to parents but also allows readers to see themselves.  Caleb is unapologetically lazy and the Board postings by his fellow students are realistic, funny and creepy all at the same time. 

I’ll be checking out more by this author.

–SueBE

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