Sunday, January 2, 2011

Milo Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg

This autumn I read many books for the Cybil’s Award. A common theme was death and autism. One book had death, violent murder, autism and a National Book Award. Through out the process I kept saying to myself “This is a beautifully written book, but does it have kid appeal?” Milo Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg is one that dealt with death and has kid appeal. The book is about a dork (the book says geek, but in my class it would be dork) named Milo Cruikshank. (I have a student this year named Milo with a last name that is even more fun or torturous.) His mother dies of cancer and after the death Milo, his sister and dad move often. Milo is always the new kid. Not an easy task for a tween, especially one that is having to deal with the death of his mother on his own.

Milo makes friends at his new school. As a matter of fact this friendship helps him start the process of fixing his family. Throughout the book Milo tries to win the heart of the girl of his dreams, balance two friendships one with a boy and one with a girl, not sticking out at school and how to be polite to strangers. Milo’s father has not dealt well with the death of his wife and mother of his children. Ok, to be blunt, Dad is a jerk. His way of dealing with the grief is to pretend that the person never existed. (Given how my dad grieved his parents Milo’s dad must be German and Dutch!) The stranger is the woman across the street. He befriends her after a tough day. Actually they befriend each other. Sylvia Poole helps Milo understand that it is important to remember loved ones. This leads Milo to take charge of his families healing in a fun and productive way.

Here is why I think Milo SN&BF has kid appeal:
  • It is well written.
  • It is funny.
  • It is sad.
  • It is filled with hilarious illustrations of Milo’s life.
  • It has an alter ego named Dabney St. Claire. (Come on with an alter ego like this what’s not to love.)
  • It has romance. Ok not really, just tween hopefulness.
  • It makes you think.

There were many wonderful books nominated for the 22010 Cybil’s and in my opinion one of my favorites was Milo Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze.



Carol said...

OK, I'm going to put this in my TBR stack! Sounds like another great one, Mr. K!

D.M.Cunningham said...

MILO is one of the best books of 2010 that I've read and one of my all time favorite books. Alan knocked this one out of the park. It is a must read for sure.

Ms. Yingling said...

Thank you for your take on this. I thought students would like it, but I'm never entirely sure.

Peaceful Reader said...

I'm reading this right now and I love it! Thanks for your great review.

Sophie said...

I loved this book too. But I read this like 4 weeks ago and now I have to do a presentation about it. But my problem is that I forgot what Milo's sister is called!! Can someone please tell me?