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Author: Harrington, Karen
Twelve-year-old Wayne Kovok loses his uncle to war and his voice to a plane crash in the same year and must learn to speak up as he navigates relationships with his father, grandfather, and new friend, Denny Rosenblatt.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 182462
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 3.30
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 70220
Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (06/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/01/2016 Middle school is tough for most kids, but seventh-grader Wayne Kovoks is having a particularly bad year. On the way home from his uncle’s funeral, Wayne’s plane crashes. He and his mother are among the survivors, but Wayne walks away from the wreckage with an injured throat and an L-shaped gash running down from his face: L for loser. The severe swelling in the 12-year-old’s neck means no talking. For a kid who copes with social situations by rattling off an encyclopedic number of facts, not having a voice makes life challenging in a whole new way. On top of these major roadblocks, Wayne is navigating relationships with Sandy (his sort-of girlfriend), his dad (divorced), and his grandfather (former drill sergeant and new housemate). Random facts and Wayne’s sense of humor leaven the more serious plot developments, while his forced silence causes him to take a closer look at the people around him. Harrington’s (Sure Signs of Crazy, 2013) latest comes with heft, hope, and scads of trivia. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2016 Wayne Kovok has always covered his anxieties with a nervous tic, spewing random facts dredged from his bottomless repertoire of all-occasion trivia. Now, however, his motormouth fails him when he needs it most. His favorite uncle, a soldier, has been killed overseas, and when Wayne and his family travel home from his funeral, the plane crashes. Wayne and his mother are among the few survivors, but injuries to his head and neck leave Wayne literally speechless. Recovery is tough: his absentee dad is too busy with his new family to be of any support, and Grandpa, who has temporarily moved in to help, is more prone to bark orders than to render assistance. As Wayne slowly adjusts to his new life after these pivotal events, some pleasant surprises creep over the new horizon: genuine interest from his middle-school classmate, Sandy; friendship with Denny Rosenblatt, a stutterer he meets in speech therapy, who copes by singing; and fresh insight into what makes Grandpa tick, as he and Wayne take on a mission to locate the flag that draped Wayne’s uncle’s coffin and subsequently flew out of the plummeting airplane. Wayne is a relatable kid and an entertaining narrator, and the year-in-the-life time frame is the perfect span to capture the shock of his newly rocked world and his realistic rally, both physical and emotional. Even with one last bittersweet trial to confront, Wayne’s going to be okay, and heading off with a big smile and a thumbs-up. EB - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.