20 February 2014
King, A.S. Reality Boy. Little, Brown BFYR, 2013.
Gerald was one of the kids featured on a "Nanny 9-1-1" style television show when he was in kindergarten. His mother loved her first child, Gerald's oldest sister, but she did not love Gerald or his other sister. His mother constantly spoiled her firstborn and ignored the cries for help from her other children. Her obliviousness led to the other children fearing for their lives. Now Gerald is in high school and his oldest sister is living in the basement of their house, mooching off of her parents and inviting her boyfriend in for some very loud activities. Gerald's other sister has escaped to college in Europe. And Gerald is trying to deal with a lot of pent-up anger while he tries to outgrow his time on reality TV.
I actually really liked this particular story, even though I don't particularly like reality TV. Gerald's family members seemed very real to me, as did the knuckleheads from his school who continued to call him Crapper even though he had obviously outgrown his kindergarten issues. I could feel his frustration at his mother's obliviousness and his father's impotence in the face of his oldest sister. This is a neat look at what happens after the Supernanny leaves, as well as what happens when an entire family refuses to fix what is broken.
Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: language, some violence (older sister likes to choke/hit people, including her mom), kindergarten Gerald vents his frustration by pooping in unexpected places
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars