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Kid Konnection: Me & Death

August 21, 2010

Jim’s home life isn’t too great – he doesn’t know his dad, his mom’s best friend is the bottle, his sister does her best to annoy him – and he takes it out on everyone he meets.  Jim hangs out with the wrong crowd, steals, smokes, skips school and bullies other kids.  As he’s chasing another kid one day, Jim is hit by a car and finds himself in a near-death experience –  a sort of limbo, if you will.  He’s given a chance to watch three events from his past, so that he can learn to treat people better.  As he watches, he learns about himself and others, but will the experience change him?

Me & Death: An Afterlife Adventure by Richard Scrimger is sort of a re-telling of A Christmas Carol, and it even mentions the novella in its pages.  Today’s teen-agers will relate to Jim, or one of the kids he picks on, more than the characters in the old-fashioned Dickens tale.  Jim is a great character – he has an attitude because of his tough home life, but he’s not all bad.  I felt for him in his old life and as he tried to be a better person.

On the surface, Me & Death is an entertaining story, with a little bit of creep factor to it.   Deep down, though, it’s a book that  brings up a lot of social issues and gives you a lot to think about.  It forces the reader to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and have some empathy for them.  I think most adults do this already, but it’s something a lot of teens struggle with.  It will also make you think about the value of friendship, loyalty and family.  The book is a little crude in a few places, so I would recommend it for older teens and up.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Tundra Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.


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22 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2010 5:15 am

    Good review, love the fun and learning in children’s books.

  2. August 21, 2010 5:39 am

    I won this from LT ER program, but it never came! It sounds like something very different than what I thought it was though.

  3. August 21, 2010 6:09 am

    Sounds like a great read. 🙂

  4. stacybuckeye permalink
    August 21, 2010 7:06 am

    The title and cover do not look like a book for kids. It does look like an important message though.

  5. August 21, 2010 7:27 am

    It does sound like a interesting take on a classic story. And you’re right, I’m not sure that The Christmas Carol would resonate with today’s kids.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. August 21, 2010 8:12 am

    This sounds kind of intense. But what a great idea, to adapt the Christmas Carol theme for younger people.

  7. August 21, 2010 10:17 am

    There’s so much we can learn from children’s books. Thanks for sharing this, Kathy.

  8. August 21, 2010 11:17 am

    I love a Christmas Carol. This sounds like an interesting take on it for teens.

  9. August 21, 2010 11:19 am

    I’ve been keeping a list of books I want to get for Aidan as he gets older, this is going on that list. Thanks for the review.

  10. August 21, 2010 11:24 am

    I’m going to delve into this one….sounds great on so many different levels.

  11. August 21, 2010 12:00 pm

    This sounds like a good one that me and my son could both read and then discuss.

  12. August 21, 2010 1:27 pm

    Based on the cover and the title, I don’t know if I would have picked this one up but after reading your review, I’d be interested to read it because I love the Christmas Carol element to it and it sounds like a great coming of age story – thanks for reviewing! 🙂

  13. August 21, 2010 3:18 pm

    Good review, I’ll bet the book is good too. It’s not often that I’ve read about children having near death experiences.

  14. August 21, 2010 3:56 pm

    I love re-tellings of old classics! I think, especially for children’s/YA books, a general outline that is instantly recognizable to them makes the book really accessible and less intimidating.

    And I must say, I really like the graphic, simplistic look of this cover!

  15. August 21, 2010 5:00 pm

    I’ve gotta read this because I love A Christmas carol 🙂

  16. August 21, 2010 6:10 pm

    As I started reading your review, I immediately thought of A Christmas Carol. Excellent review, Kathy! This sounds like a thoughtful and thought-provoking book.

  17. August 21, 2010 7:30 pm

    Interesting take from a young teen’s perspective and the analogy to Christmas Carol reveals how the theme of life will always ring true for everyone. If only we could all look into ourselves to see others for who they are.

  18. August 21, 2010 7:33 pm

    This does sound a little creepy but alos promising.

  19. August 22, 2010 9:41 am

    This sounds so good! Like Jen I love A Christmas Carol, so I’ll have to get a hold of it.

  20. August 22, 2010 8:22 pm

    I am sure this would be a great book for my kids, and I will have to keep an eye out for it. I am glad that you had fun with it, and also that it teaches a little too!

  21. August 24, 2010 4:26 am

    When I started reading, I really did think it sounded like The Christmas Carol for kids… and then u mentioned it 🙂
    I think it is a great way to get the ol’ classic to today’s kids 🙂
    I like this concept and would love to get this book for my kid someday 🙂

  22. August 24, 2010 9:27 pm

    Sounds worth checking out, given that it’s thought-provoking and creepy at the same time.

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