Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
Hole in My Life

Hole in My Life

Spring 2002 Non-Fiction
Ages: 16 & Up
Author: Jack Gantos
ISBN: 0374399883
Hardcover Price: $16.00

Prolific, eagerly read author Jack Gantos began his career in children's books with the publication of the first of the celebrated Rotten Ralph picture books. This lighthearted series slyly insinuates disguised moral works in to the hearts of children. It took nothing more than the author's hard-learned skills, wisdom and honesty; all have become so matter of fact in his work that the reader easily accepts the absurd as she or he laughs aloud reading it.

Gantos' latest work, an autobiography titled A Hole in My Life, is a powerful tale about a young man, a boy really, who wants to be a writer. Desperate to achieve his personal dream, the young man commits a heinous crime. More preoccupied than he is evil, he smuggles drugs knowingly. At the same time he ignores , then absolutely denies the tragic effects these drugs will have on others.

When he's caught his lawyer offers a non-excuse, one often accepted by the court, "He's just a kid."

The book is a compelling read. A wrenching one with a protagonist who grows before the reader's eyes. The hope we are left with is a tribute to Gantos, a young writer who became a National Book Award finalist, a Newbery Honor Book winner and the recipient of a Parents' Choice Gold, not many years after his unexpected release from prison.

Diana Huss Green   ©2002 Parents' Choice

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