Sunday, August 20, 2006

What I'm Reading -- Hello I Must be Going by Christie Hodgen

In Hello I Must be Going, Hodgen follows a mother and her two children following the death of their husband/father. The main character is 9-year old Frankie, who like her brother, worships their Vietnam-vet father. Following his death, Frankie becomes quiet and focuses on her drawings, her brother begins some bizarre behaviors and her mom becomes obsessed with weird boyfriends and pills. Hodgen excels when following the slow but consistent growth of Frankie as she becomes more confident and plans for college. Some of the book’s situations are a bit too farcical considering the overall tone of the novel. This is a good solid read, though it does not live up to better and more realistic portrayals like Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak and Stephen Chbosky’s Perks of Being a Wallflower.

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