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Do you sense a theme this week? It may or may not have been intentional. Told through a diary format, to include email messages, pages of sketches, comics, and instant messages, this is the story of Happyface. But who is Happyface? As readers, we gain insight into exactly who Happyface is through this journal, filled with fragmented thoughts and drawings. This means a new school. Happyface used to be a loner, but the move seems to have made him a little more popular.
Unfortunately for me, the story took too long to develop in this book. His journal is real, like that of a high school boy focused on girl issues, but with the Big Event, I would expect any boy to write about that issue more. There was ample opportunity to introduce it slyly in other spots, which would have made it felt more realistic, rather than a convenient explanation for other plot points and character issues.
The ending of the book really was the icing on the cake for me, though. I felt it was far too much of a message, and it felt too much like a Full House ending, with everyone living happily ever after. All he had to do was remove his mask.
I kind of wish we got a little more time with Happyface, to see how things panned out after his great revelation. We only get about nine months with him, and in that time, he goes through a heck of a lot.
What I thought would be such a fantastic book for boys might end up being disappointing for them with that sort of ending. Fortunately, this book has an incredible format going for it, as it reads sort of like a manga. I handed this title off to some of my 9th grade patrons, though, and the responses I got were pretty positive. Everyone loved the format — it is unique and stands out as memorable for that reason. They also clearly paid me sums of money to give it a glowing review and ignore any and all flaws I as a reader might find because obviously, every reader will love every book.
Written by: Kelly on February 12,
Happyface by Stephen Emond
Do you sense a theme this week? It may or may not have been intentional. Told through a diary format, to include email messages, pages of sketches, comics, and instant messages, this is the story of Happyface. But who is Happyface?
Search: Title Author Article. Rate this book. Just put on a happy face! Enter Happyface's journal and get a peek into the life of a shy, artistic boy who decides to reinvent himself as a happy-go-lucky guy after he moves to a new town. See the world through his hilariously self-deprecating eyes as he learns to shed his comic-book-loving, computer-game playing ways. Join him as he makes new friends, tries to hide from his past, and ultimately learns to face the world with a genuine smile. With a fresh and funny combination of text and fully integrated art, Happyface is an original storytelling experience.
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