In James Patterson’s first highly illustrated “diary fiction” story for teens, the mega-bestselling author’s most endearing and original teen heroine ever proves that everyone can use a helping hand once in a while.
Margaret “Cuckoo” Clarke recently had a brief stay in a mental institution following an emotional breakdown, but she’s turning over a new leaf with her “Happiness Project”. She’s determined to beat down the bad vibes of the Haters, the Terror Teachers, and all of the trials and tribulations of high school by writing and drawing in her diary. And when life gets really tough, she works through her own moments of uncertainty through imaginary conversations with her favorite literary characters.
Cuckoo’s also got a nearly impossible mission: she, along with her misfit band of self-deprecating friends (who call themselves “the Freakshow”) decide to bridge the gap between warring cliques and “bring the Nations together”. Not everyone is so willing to join hands and get along, but Cuckoo never stops smiling…until one of her closest friends, pushed to desperation by a Hater prank, decides that enough is enough.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from “Homeroom Diaries.” I have never read a James Patterson book, either his young adult work or his adult best-sellers, and the only illustrated diary-style books I’ve read have been aimed at elementary schoolers and the young middle-school set. I was immediately taken with Cuckoo, who is a compelling protagonist dealing with a lot of tough stuff, from a missing mother to the perceived stigma of a psychiatric facility stay. She has a diverse group of besties who surround her with love and support, and she has a kind and encouraging foster mother (her neighbor, who took her in after her mom split). Although readers might be expecting just another joke-filled diary book, they will be pleasantly surprised by the substantive social issues Patterson and Papademetriou) explore.
Cuckoo goes through a lot, and some of it is funny and romantic and silly, but some of it is heartbreaking and serious and life-changing. If you’re looking for a quick read with an eclectic group of characters, read “Homeroom Diaries.”
GIVEAWAY: One lucky reader will win THE HAPPINESS PROJECT prize pack, a collection of Patterson books.
Enter for your chance to win a James Patterson collection including copies of “Homeroom Diaries,” “Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment,” “Confessions of a Murder Suspect,” and “First Love.” All you have to do is comment below by July 28. If you want an extra entry, tweet about the giveaway and then come back and share the URL of your tweet. Good luck!