Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Boy Who Lost His Face - Louis Sachar

I happened to spot Louis Sachar's The Boy Who Lost His Face on the shelves of the children's library as I was looking for Jonathan Stroud's The Last Siege (which I did find).

The Boy Who Lost His Face is a supernatural tale, rather than the more straight forward realism of Holes. David Ballinger is just trying to be cool when he helps some other boys to steal an old lady's cane. But when the plan backfires, he is the one whom she curses and now David can't seem to do anything right. The cool kids taunt him and his only friends are the weirdest kids in the school: Larry, who always wears sunglassses, and Maureen (Mo), of whom even the boys are afraid. He even walks into his Spanish class one day with his fly unzipped, and when he finally gets up the nerve to ask out a cute girl that he fancies, his trousers fall down ! But is this the curse at work or is David simply turning into a total loser ? Larry, one of his friends, suggests that every time David fails to stand up to the boys who stole the old lady's cane, he loses face. But how can David regain face, when even his little brother hates him now ?

I liked this book - there was just enough of the supernatural element in it to keep me guessing and wondering whether David really is cursed or merely unlucky, without me feeling too unnerved to finish it.

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