Young Adult Literature


Funny Little Monkey
by Andrew Auseon


From School Library Journal
Grade 9-11–Arty Moore is smart, short, and scared of the dark. For three years this 14-year-old has been afflicted with Growth Hormone Deficiency. While his fraternal twin Kurt now stands over six feet tall, Arty must give himself painful shots in hopes of increasing his puny 4' 2" height. But size is only one of Arty's concerns: ex-con Dad has split, beloved Grampa has died, and Mom seems oblivious to the fact that Kurt, the brother he once cherished, is physically abusing him. In their faded Ohio quarry town, Arty enlists in the underground high school group Affront to get even and takes part in their devious two-phase plot to send Kurt fake love letters and to frame him for stealing the statue of the high school mascot, Millie the Boxing Turtle. Arty's first-person narrative is angry, sad, and self-deprecating, using blunt descriptions and black humor. He becomes infatuated with Leslie, a beautiful, rich classmate, and briefly enjoys a sense of peer acceptance before realizing he's but a prop for a girl who craves attention. When Arty discovers that his brother, a sketchy character who is secretive, angry, and often in trouble, has been consulting with Mom about attending military school, he decides they need to talk. A well-depicted chase brings the teens face to face, and Arty must acknowledge his own flaws to help mend their dysfunctional relationship. He steps up and uses an outrageous fabrication to resolve the final crisis in this offbeat coming-of-age story.–Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT
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