Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X Stork

How I Heard About It:  While visiting Anderson's Book Shop in Naperville at the end of July, I spent some time talking with one of the book sellers.  We talked a lot about middle-grade novels and young-adult novels.  She recommended this title so I added it to my purchases.  

What It Is About:  Marcelo has lived with a form of Autism for his entire life.  He has been very happy attending a special school where all of the students have differences and are able to interact with the animals.  Marcelo is excited to head back to this school for his senior year and taking on more responsibility.  He is not happy to find out his father wants him to attend a "regular" school for his senior year.  His father also wants him to come work at his law firm over the summer so that he can experience the "real" world.  They make a deal and Marcelo heads off to encounter a side of the world his father thinks will be beneficial.  He begins to work in the mail room of the law firm and is befriended by a worker.  Marcelo doesn't mind the new challenges, but misses his old "life".  When another co-worker takes Marcelo under his wings, he finds out that not only does the law firm have secrets, but so does his father.  

What I Thought Of It:  It is so wonderful when you talk with another reader, they recommend a title, and you love it as much as they did.  That is exactly what happened with this novel.  The story was touching, endearing, and heart-warming.  I found myself liking Marcelo more and more as I fell into the pages of the story.  There were so many important life lessons that he learned and was able to teach the reader.  As much as Marcelo was the ultimate protagonist, there was also the ultimate antagonist.  Boy, did I not like that character, but of course that just make the reader all the better.  

Who Should Read It:  I'm surprised I was not aware of this young-adult novel before my trip to Naperville.  It reads as such a classic story.  I know that many high-school readers will love to read about Marcelo and his journey into the "real" or "unreal" world.  He is a guy they will root for and really enjoy.  Of course adult readers will also be quite happy and satisfied with this novel.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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