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Gail Gauthier   www.gailgauthier.com
Happy Kid!

 

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My Important Thoughts About The Book:

Happy Kid! 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 growth."

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 coolness."

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 Kyle."

Journal Enquirer: "Gail Gauthier…has written yet another middle-school gem, one full of humor, irony, and even a lesson or two about accepting responsibility."

KLIATT:  "Kyle's cynical, smart-alecky tone and humorous predicaments will draw readers in...A fun, quick read for middle school and junior high students

Kirkus Reviews:  "...slyly fanciful but unambiguously humorous story…" "Gauthier…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...

Big A little a

Book Moot

MotherReader

The Kiddosphere@Fauquier

Other Stuff...

Named a Best Book of the Year by the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
Nominated for the 2008-2009 Georgia Children's Book Award
Nominated for Oklahoma's Sequoyah Book Award.

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February 7, 2015