|Book Reveiw 7-7
Sunday, April 27, 2008
By Denise Turney
This young adult book is different, set apart, because of the style it’s written in. As best as I recall, I’ve never before read a book written in the poetic, hilarious style the author uses. I’ve Already Forgotten Your Name, Philip Hall is a story about courage, trying to fit in and allowing for individuality. Each page is laced with humor. I actually chuckled while I read this book which is created by Bette Greene, a Newberry Honor author.
I’ve Already Forgotten Your Name, Philip Hall tells the story of Beth Lambert, a young girl who has stepped down as the President of the Pretty Pennies, a local girls club she’s been a member of for more than a year. The club’s new president is all about creating and maintaining rules. She’s so unlike Beth who’s more happy-go-lucky and focused on having fun rather than keeping order.
The story begins with Beth about to return home from visiting with her widowed grandmother who lives one county over in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. Beth’s grandmother is a tough one. She’s small but she has the strength of a weight lifter. It all came about after her husband transitioned and she was left to work the farm. She had to get physically stronger to keep finances coming in on the farm, and despite her early fears, she did just that. She learned to make-do and operate equipment no one thought she would ever learn to handle. And with those changes, her spunk grew.
That summer when Beth returns home from visiting with her grandmother to Pocahantas, Arkansas, she’s greeted with changes involving her favorite girls group, The Pretty Pennies. As if that is not enough, a signing pig has gone missing. Beth calls on her good friend, Philip Hall, one of the most handsome and strongest boys in the entire school. The location of the missing pig has the whole town up in arms. Everyone thinks they know who has taken the pig, but Beth has new and different ideas about that. She’s certain that she knows who the culprit is. Together Beth and her good friend, Philip, go to work to solve the mystery of the missing pig. But it’s not easy. The two have their share of disagreements along the way at which time Beth’s sassy attitude comes out full force in all its rawness and in all its humor.
No sooner does Beth work hard with Philip to locate the missing pig, than she gets herself in a pickle. She has gone and promised that Walnut Ridge will send their number one arm wrestler to Pocahontas for an arm wrestling match with the one and only Philip Hall. Competitions have existed between Walnut Ridge, where Beth’s grandmother lives, and Pocahontas for years. Pocahontas has not won one of the competitions. It all seems perfect. Pocahontas is set to win their first competition against Walnut Ridge, their neighbor county, except for one very important fact – Beth created the entire story about the champion arm wrestler from Walnut Ridge out of her imagination. The guy doesn’t even exist. But hold on. Someone comes to the rescue and what ensues is hilarious!
If you want to laugh while you read a book, I’ve Already Forgotten Your Name, Philip Hall is a winner. And no wonder. Not only has the book’s author, Bette Greene, won Newberry honors, her first novel, Summer of My German Soldier, inspired an Emmy Award winning television film and stage musical. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to enjoy a light, fun read.
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