Eggs, by Jerry Spinelli

I’ve been reading quite a lot lately, and my list of books to review is piling up.  I’ve wavered between being selective (i.e. only reviewing the books I like; only reviewing award-winners; only reviewing popular books; only reviewing books on topics I think are important or interesting) or not (i.e. take the books as they are after browsing the shelves, just like any reader might do).  The only problem with the latter strategy is that it involves writing reviews of every book I read, even the ones that didn’t really capture me.

Eggs did not really capture me.

Being short of time, but long of list, I’m going to do a quickie with Eggs.

I wanted to like it.  I liked the main characters (kind of).  I liked the idea of a friendship between a little boy and a teenage girl, both misfits, both angry at the world, both rejecting the loving adult figures in their lives.  I liked the idea that they would form a sibling-like pair – in fact, I often thought, when I was younger, that I would have liked to trade one or both my sisters for a brother (hmm….do my sisters read this blog?  I guess I’ll find out!).  And come on – who wasn’t a teenage misfit?  Real or imagined, I think everyone is either a cast-out or casts themselves out (a philosophical discussion that can be saved for later).  And Jerry Spinelli is a good writer.  But I just didn’t like Eggs.  It felt unfinished, and I don’t mean that he should have kept writing or that no stories should have loose ends.  I mean more that it felt uneven, like some parts were mythical magical wonderful and some parts were every-day, and some parts were grotty unhappy, but they didn’t flow into each other like a story or feel as though they were meant to jar and contrast.  Rather, the story felt like a person carrying too many items with too few bags, dropping dribs and drabs as they go.

I hate physical dribs and drabs.  They drive me nuts.  And apparently, they drive me nuts in storytelling, too.

Reading Ages: The language is not difficult, and it’s not long.  I would say a 11-12 year old could definitely read it.  It might even appeal to a 8th or 9th grader (14-year-old) as an easy read.  But it would be a stretch, I think, because it’s not super fun.

Rating: C

Best Thing About the Book: No title on the cover!  Just a photo of eggs.

Worst Thing About the Book: Quote on the cover, “Friendship isn’t always sunny-side up.”  Thanks for that piece of wisdom.  Only tangentially related to the story, though.

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