book review: the selected works of t.s. spivet

by: Reif Larsen

This is one of those books I read about and instantly wanted…and then every time I would go to buy the book I would get cold feet…so I waited some time to get this one. (Obviously before the year of making do and our re-discovery of the library.)

The book chronicles the 12 year-old, T.S. Spivet as he decides to ride across the country from Montana to Washington, DC to accept an award at the Smithsonian. You see, T.S. is a very accomplished chart and map maker, even at 12. The book is filled with his charts in the margins. He chronicles his life in a series of notebooks, numbered, and in his bedroom. His mom is an entomologist and his father a rancher.

The book has a deeper theme that you are not told about on the book flap, and are only told about sparingly at first. I had to re-read some sections of the book when this theme popped up because I was so surprised.

I loved how the book falls together. As Stephen King says on the back, the book “combines Mark Twain, Thomas Pynchon, and Little Miss Sunshine.” Can you even imagine?

The only complaint I had with the book was that Mr. Larsen gave the dad a southern accent. Ranchers in Montana don’t have southern accents. It was kind of strange.

Another book to rush right out there and get dear readers. This one is a joy. And I think younger audiences will also really enjoy the book as well, but I caution parents to read it first, just to make sure the secondary theme is not too much for kids.

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