Levy, Elizabeth. My Life As a Fifth Grade Comedian. HarperCollins, 1997. ISBN 0- 0602-6602-3. $14.95. 184 pp. B 3-6 FI Reviewed by Cinda Clement Bobby, the class comedian, has a quick response to any comment made in class, even his teacher’s. He is so involved in being funny that he becomes distracting, disrespectful, and dysfunctional as a student. An understanding teacher helps Bobbie confront his real problems without losing his sense of humor. Along the way, Bobbie’s father also learns that what he has been dishing out as humor has been very destructive to the self-esteem of his children. This story teaches some lessons in family relationships and acceptable socializing, but the manner of presentation puts the reader off. It is written in the modern, brash style with rudeness and quick cleverness that lack depth and any undercurrent of common kindness, courtesy, gentleness, or genteelness. While this is a popular style, as much can be learned about relationships from stories with a plot line. This story could have taken a lesson from some of the bygone classics.
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