Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dodger and Me

Dodger and Me, written by Jordan Sonnenblick.

I loved this book. Basic plot: loser kid (Willie) sucks at baseball, has an overprotective mother, tries to avoid an annoying girl (Lizzie), and is lonely after his best friend moves away. Enter a possibly imaginary blue chimp named Dodger wearing surfer shorts and an eye patch, who may or may not be a genie, and who may or may not help him overcome his problems. Along the way, and under Dodger's watch, things get way worse for Willie before they can get better.

Will Willie improve his baseball skills and help his team win the championship? Will his mother stop fussing over him so much? Will Lizzie ever leave him alone? Will he survive Dodger's plans to improve his life? And more importantly—what will his three wishes be?

The thing that really makes this YA novel pop is the writing. Just before reading Dodger and Me, I read another YA book from the same publisher. Good plot, likable lead characters, but the writing was just awful. But I finished it, and moved on to Dodger. What a breath of fresh air! The writing is engaging, funny, and just plain readable. As a writer myself, I think the best compliment I can give this book is that it is one of those books you come across that you wish you had written first. You don't have to be a young adult to enjoy Dodger and Me. Go get it!

Dodger and Me

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