Friday, September 2, 2016

Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat by Gary Paulsen

Cover image for Six kids and a stuffed catSome of Gary Paulsen's books are serious, even heart rending and others are just funny.  This story fits into the second category. Six eighth-grade boys are stuck in a bathroom after school because of a storm warning. The boys fit very different stereotypes, one shy, one an over achiever, one a rocker, etc. Close proximity makes the boys interact in ways they probably would have never happened under normal circumstances, with funny results. I did think the end was a a little contrived, especially when two boys who have been enemies are suddenly best friends. Still, Paulsen's portrayal of how 14 year old boys interact is mostly spot on. As I was reading the book I kept thinking, this would make a fun play.  Then, when I got to the end of the book, sure enough, it is reprinted as a one act play. Paulsen, rather cleverly, gives each of the characters a gender neutral name, so the play could be performed by either six girls or six boys. It would be interesting to see it done by girls.  That would make it a very different story, even if the words are exactly the same. All in all it was a fun quick read. 138 p.

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