Friday, September 2, 2016
Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat by Gary Paulsen
Some 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.