Monday, March 21, 2016
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015
Audience: All Teens
As a child, Calvin felt an affinity with the comic book character from Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes.
He was born on the day the last strip was published; his grandpa left a stuffed tiger named Hobbes in his crib; and he even had a best friend named Susie. Then Calvin’s mom washed Hobbes to death, Susie grew up beautiful and stopped talking to him, and Calvin pretty much forgot about the strip—until now. Now he is seventeen years old and has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Hobbes is back, as a delusion, and Calvin can’t control him. Calvin decides that Watterson is the key to everything—if he would just make one more comic strip, but without Hobbes, Calvin would be cured. Calvin and Susie (is she real?) and Hobbes (he can’t be real, can he?) set out on a dangerous trek across frozen Lake Erie to track down Watterson.
I suppose this is an outdoorsy book - one I wouldn’t normally gravitate towards. However, when I picked it up, all I knew was that it was related to Calvin and Hobbes. The story moves quickly, and begins with Calvin needing medical attention in class. From there, the reader learns more about Calvin’s health situation and what he thinks is real. I love how readers were kept wondering about Susie, and how her character understood Calvin so well. Also, the ending was perfect. It didn’t disappoint, but it was realistic and it stays true to Calvin’s character. Overall, Calvin was short and charming, perfect for reluctant readers.