Sunday, March 20, 2011

Replay

I admire Sharon Creech as an author. She is a writer whose work is so beloved that readers who have outgrown her topics and target age range will still always get excited to see her new books. Even though Replay is about a young boy’s love of theater, I know several 10th and 11th graders who would love to get their hands on it.


Replay’s protagonist, Leo, is better known by his family as “Sardine” and “Fog Boy”. He’s trying to get by among the quirky characters that squeeze him into a tiny corner of the family. Unfortunately, rather than speaking up, he retreats into a dream world where he is a celebrity and constantly lauded for his performance skills.

While the dramatic daydreams are fun, it’s Leo’s relationship with his father that is the heart of the story. When Leo finds his father’s own adolescent diary (full of tap-dancing, poetry, and joy), he is shocked by the contrast from his angry, harried father. Creech beautifully describes how Leo hopefully reaches out to his father. Their ultimate connection shows Leo that he has a special place in the family.

If you put Replay on your classroom library’s shelves, it won’t stay there for long.

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