Anyway*: *A Story About Me with 138 Footnotes, 27 Exaggerations, and 1 Plate of Spaghetti

Arthur Salm, Author
Arthur Salm. Simon & Schuster, $15.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-4424-2930-7
Reviewed on: 04/23/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
Is self-invention truly possible? Twelve-year-old Max gives it a go in Salm’s sweetly comic debut novel. Everyone knows Max as a good kid who flies under the radar and tries to avoid the class bully. But when he’s forced to take a summer vacation at a family camp with his parents, Max trots out an edgy new persona he’s sure will impress the other camp kids—especially a beautiful girl. As cool, bold “Mad Max,” he dons a headband and shades while mastering hanging out at the pool. Soon he’s leading his cohorts in an unfortunate prank and getting caught up in behavior that makes him wonder if “Mad Max” is who he really wants to be. In Max, Salm has created a likable everykid who’s shy and caring, but who also possesses flashes of petulance, goofiness, self-doubt, and—yes—questionable decision making that make him very real. The 138 footnotes, set in a font that resembles hand-lettering, are smoothly integrated into the story and contribute to its easygoing, memoirlike pace. Ages 8–12. Agent: Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. (May)
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