"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

06 January 2016


Leavitt, Martine. Calvin. Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 2015.

Worth the read if you enjoy books about mental illnesses, but not a stand-out among its peers.

Calvin is convinced his life is closely tied to that of the fictional Calvin from Bill Watterson's comic strip. Once he receives his diagnosis of schizophrenia, he decides that he will be completely healed if only he can convince Watterson to draw one last comic strip of Calvin, without Hobbes and without any mental illnesses. Because real-life Calvin has been seeing Hobbes everywhere.

This is a standard "kid with mental illness takes journey for healing" type of story, with the added twist of a middle of winter cross-lake trek. Calvin is pretty up-front about the fact that he can see Hobbes following him everywhere, and he even acknowledges that he has an illness and that Hobbes, in fact, is not really there. Other than the Calvin and Hobbes connection, this particular story doesn't stand out among the dearth of teen books featuring mental illness, particularly those books published recently.

Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: Other than the "mild peril" of a person walking across a lake, nothing really
Overall Rating: 3/5 stars

Read-Alike Suggestions: Challenger Deep, Going BovineMosquitoland, I Am the Cheese

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley for the purposes of review.

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