Stick by Andrew Smith
Ever since I read Marbury Lens, I have been a huge Andrew Smith fan. I loved that book for its intricate plot and realistic characterizations, and was not disappointed in Stick. Simply put, it’s the story of two brothers trying to make their way in a pretty hostile environment. Thirteen-year-old Stark (called Stick because he’s lean and tall) has always been bullied because he was born with only one ear, a deformity in his mind. Luckily, his big brother Boston has always been around to defend him. Their parents go beyond abusive; they are truly sadistic to the point of imprisoning the boys in a solitary confinement room for days at a time. Despite this, the brothers struggle to survive despite many roadblocks.
What I liked best about this book were the two main characters, Stick and Boston. Author Smith writes in such a way that the readers will be pulled into their world, as harsh as it is sometimes. We root for them to find some type of happiness. There is a lot of darkness here, especially after Boston runs away and has to get by on his own. Despite this, I found myself unable to tear myself away from this title. I recommend this for readers who enjoy “realistic” novels like those of Ellen Hopkins, and readers who like reading about young male protagonists.