The Pitiful Life of Simon Schultz

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9780060224875: The Pitiful Life of Simon Schultz

Thirteen-year-old Simon tries to stand up for himself and be recognized for who he is, not for the person his mother wants him to be.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 6-8-- During Simon Schultz's last days in middle school he is as miserable as a boy can be. Nothing he does turns out right, and his mother is driving him crazy planning his every move. Younger brother Billy is an all-right kid but a little wacky about things. Simon is followed around by girlfriend wannabe Jorna, but it's Hanna he really loves. His doctor father died of cancer four years earlier; Simon has spent all the subsequent years trying to do everything right for his mother. But he's reached his limit and must either take action or go crazy. Joosse has written an interesting story about a boy trying to balance his needs with those of his parent and friends. Simon is an intriguing, well-developed character, but at times seems too mature for his chronological age. The situation is believable, although the story is occasionally slow-paced and difficult to follow. There are a few inconsistencies that mar an otherwise well-done book. --Kenneth E. Kowen, Atascocita Middle School Library, Humble, TX
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Reminiscent of a character Woody Allen might play, Simon Schultz is a scrawny, bespectacled teenager who repeatedly slips into reveries about rescuing the girl he has a wild crush on. Chronicling his woes in a journal hidden in his box spring, Simon's writings are filled with deprecating self-descriptions like "wimpy" and "scum"--and with complaints about his meddling, overly enthusiastic mother. Much to Simon's horror, she plans a concert at which her son will play the piano for her friends. Simon tries to sabotage the event by feigning illness, a scheme that backfires when Mother reads his journal. In depicting Simon's efforts to break free from his overbearing parent, Joosse ( Pieces of the Picture ; Anna, the One and Only ) is occasionally right on the mark. Unfortunately, her novel has a plodding pace, and all too often its situations, characterizations and dialogue just don't ring true. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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