Saturday, January 12, 2008

Minerva Clark is having a horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad day

It is truly an awful day for 13-year-old Minerva: she's fallen flat on her face at the video arcade (in front of some beautiful mean girls, of course); her revered older cousin has been arrested; and somehow she finds that she's agreed to be a guinea pig in her older brother's demonstration at an opening at the art gallery where he's exhibiting his work - a demonstration that includes having electrodes hooked up to her head, in front of who-knows-how-many people. But that's not all - as she sits there, feeling humiliated and foolish, a thunderstorm is headed her way.

Minerva is a fairly typical seventh grader, obsessing about her appearance (she's taller than most everyone her age; her hair is bushy and uncontrollable; she's clumsy, etc.). What might happen if an electric shock were to destroy that part of her brain that is focused on adolescent self-loathing? If her mind weren't pointlessly obsessing about inconsequential matters, say, and a murder happened, and suddenly she's making connections and seeing subtle things she never noticed before? Maybe the worst day of Minerva Clark's life is actually the best day of her life.

This was funny and moving, with engaging characters and a clever plot. It was fun to see how liberating it was to Minerva to feel perfectly satisfied with herself - it was very empowering, and it gave her so much freedom. The book wasn't preachy or overly hard-hitting about it, though, and Minerva's grit and determination to get to the bottom of the mystery definitely won me to this series. Plus her ferret is so darn cute! I will certainly be checking up on Minerva's further adventures.

Books in the Minerva Clark mystery series (to date):
  1. Minerva Clark Gets a Clue
  2. Minerva Clark Goes to the Dogs
  3. Minerva Clark Gives up the Ghost
Minerva Clark Gets a Clue by Karen Karbo (Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2005)

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2 comments:

  1. The Girl picked this one up at a used book store, intrigued by the ferret. She's enjoying it so far.

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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  2. Oh, I'm glad to hear it. Her ferret is adorable, and is described in such a cute way that I found myself reading bits of it aloud to my kids, who were charmed.

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