S. & S. May 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781668022696. $26. F
DEBUT This first novel from the brilliant mind of legendary deadpan comedian Wright is a funny and poignant story of a day in the life of a precocious 1960s third-grader. The questions never cease in the mind of seven-year-old Harold. As he sits in the classroom listening to his teacher, his mind begins to ponder the enigmas of the world. Oftentimes, Harold perplexes his teacher with one of these inquiries. He sees these fleeting thoughts as “birds flying through an open window” of his mind. His thoughts comfort him as his home life is contrasted with an aloof mother and an adventurous grandfather. His grandfather spurs his interest in the wide world outside of the classroom, while his mother’s troubled mind may factor into his own brain’s disquiet. A day in the life of Harold will never be dull.
VERDICT The world as seen through the title character’s eyes is full of awe-inspiring wonder and fascination and is very relatable. The sincerity of Harold’s thoughts is often coupled with a cynical sense of humor that make for a droll and thought-provoking read that never ceases to prove enjoyable.
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