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Kid Konnection: Reality Boy

November 30, 2013

Reality Boy

Almost seventeen year old Gerald comes from a very dysfunctional family.  When he was five, he took out his frustrations by, well, relieving himself in unorthodox places – the kitchen table, his mother’s shoes, etc..  His family turned to Network Nanny for help; Gerald was the star of the show and earned the nickname, “the Crapper.”

The Network Nanny really didn’t help; they only concerned themselves with Gerald’s reaction to a deeper, underlying problem.  Twelve years later, he finds himself trying to reinvent himself and get past a label that has haunted him for years.

Reality Boy, by A. S. King, is edgy, thought provoking, and brilliantly written.  It tackles some tough subjects so it won’t be for everyone but I have a feeling this book will speak to many, many young people.

Gerald is trying to live down his past and make a future for himself but that’s tough to do when serious issues, such as mental illness and bullying are ignored by his parents.  They prefer to put on a happy face and brush their problems under the rug.  That doesn’t help Gerald any, especially since he’s recognized in public.  Gerald and a friend from work come up with a plan to try to change their lives.  Maybe it’s not the best idea, but it’s a start.

I feel sure there are many teens who will be able to relate to Gerald and his story (even if they were never on a reality show) and will find comfort in it.  His story is written with humor and empathy but it is disturbing at times.  There is some language and sexual situations in the book so I would recommend it for older teens and up.

I listened to the audio version of Reality Boy.  Michael Stellman does a great job narrating this terrific audio book.  The audio lasts approximately 7 hours and 45 minutes.

kid konnection new

I will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday 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 tomorrow.

Review copy provided by Hachette Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
12 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2013 8:30 am

    Sometimes parents are so incompetent…turning to Network Nanny for help? I think you’re right that many teens might be able to relate to this story.

  2. November 30, 2013 8:31 am

    Sounds intense. And different take on attention than the Marni Bates books.

  3. Patty permalink
    November 30, 2013 11:32 am

    I have had this for a while and was unsure about reading it but now I really want to! Thank you!

  4. November 30, 2013 1:01 pm

    I have never heard of this one before. Sounds interesting, though!

  5. November 30, 2013 2:49 pm

    I have this audio from the library. A.S. King is the best!

  6. November 30, 2013 10:58 pm

    this one definitely sounds intriguing!

  7. December 1, 2013 3:16 pm

    Wow! I’d never heard of this book but you’ve piqued my interest in it, Kathy!

  8. December 1, 2013 6:51 pm

    thank you for your review.

  9. December 1, 2013 9:40 pm

    Wow that sounds relay interesting. I am definitely going to look into this one! Thanks Kathy!

  10. bookingmama permalink
    December 2, 2013 6:53 pm

    I am a HUGE fan of Amy’s writing. This one is a must-read for me!

  11. December 3, 2013 11:07 pm

    I wasn’t interested by the title for cover but you have me thinking I might actually like this one!

  12. December 5, 2013 11:04 am

    I liked this one, too! I think this the first review I’ve seen by anybody else.

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