Reality Boy
Reality Boy

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Annotation: An emotionally damaged seventeen-year-old boy in Pennsylvania who was once an infamous reality television show star, meets a girl from another dysfunctional family, and she helps him out of his angry shell. Contains Mature Material
Catalog Number: #88075
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: High Low High Low Mature Content Mature Content
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2014
Pages: 353 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-22271-2 Perma-Bound: 0-605-83427-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-22271-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-83427-9
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2012048432
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Seventeen-year-old Gerald became infamous at age five, when he took a dump on his family's kitchen table for the whole reality-TV viewing public to see. A network TV nanny came in to help Gerald be less of a problem child, but the cameras didn't catch what Tasha, his older sister and tormentor, was doing to him and his other sister, Lisi, or his mother's constant defense of her eldest daughter at the expense of her youngest children. And so Gerald continued to rage on. Though years of anger-management training and a boxing-gym regimen have helped him gain better control, his future still feels limited to jail or death. The narrative, though striking and often heartbreaking, is disjointed in places, namely with Gerald's grand plan to run away to the circus. However, this is still a King novel, and the hallmarks of her strong work are there: magical realism, heightened emotion, and the steady, torturous, beautiful transition into self-assured inner peace. Like Gerald, it's wonderfully broken.
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 9 Up&12; When 16-year-old Gerald was 5, his parents made a contract to appear on a reality television show where a stage nanny offered techniques to mend their beyond-repair family. Gerald was targeted as the problem child when it was actually his psychopathic sister, Tasha, who was the true menace. His parents turned a blind eye, repeatedly allowing their firstborn to torment and threaten the lives of Gerald, sister Lisi, and even the mother while the edited television broadcasts skewed the truth. At first, readers will be taken aback when they learn that little on-camera Gerald defecated on Tasha's and his mother's belongings, earning him the infamous nickname "Crapper," but they will soon realize that in his young mind it was his only weapon of defense in a desperate situation. The horror and injustice of it all follow insecure, agry Gerald into his teens. So does fearsome, unemployed Tasha when she moves into the family's basement with her boyfriend, has loud and regular sex, and is still enabled by their parents. When Gerald warily falls in love with Hannah, a schoolmate and coworker with family troubles of her own, "kidnapping" themselves by running away together seems their only recourse to wake up their parents. King's trademarks-attuned first-person narrative, convincing dialogue, realistic language, and fitting quirkiness-connect effectively in this disturbing, yet hopeful novel. Not since Norma Fox Mazer's disquieting When She Was Good (Scholastic, 1997) has an emotionally and mentally deranged sibling and dysfunctional parents wreaked such havoc on a main character who still manages to survive and grow beyond it.&12; Diane P. Tuccillo, Poudre River Public Library District, CO
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Everybody's so full of shit," declares the epigraph of this heart-pounding and heartbreaking novel, setting the tone of the narrative: cynical, disappointed and slyly funny. Gerald "the Crapper" Faust has not yet outlived the notoriety he achieved at age 5 by defecating on the kitchen table during their stint on Network Nanny, a "reality" television show that edited out most of the truth about his dysfunctional family life. Gerald has struggled to manage his anger in the 12 years since with the help of a few compassionate adults at school and work, but at its root, his rage remains unmitigated. In suspenseful flashbacks, Gerald details the damage wrought by his oldest sister, Tasha, a spoiled sociopathic despot. When he meets Hannah, a troubled beauty who sees him as he is instead of as he was, he cannot resist the possibility of genuine connection, despite the dangers. King deftly depicts the angst of first love in all its awkward, confusing glory. Even when she trots out the archetypical road-trip-as-journey-to-self-discovery, King writes with an honesty that allows Hannah and Gerald to call each other on their bullshit and ultimately arrive at an intimacy that feels neither forced nor false. This is no fairy-tale romance, but a compulsively readable portrait of two imperfect teens learning to trust each other and themselves. (Fiction. 14 & up)
Word Count: 75,243
Reading Level: 3.8
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.8 / points: 10.0 / quiz: 162363 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:18.0 / quiz:Q61939
Lexile: HL620L

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