Pages: 119 Pages
Release Date: August 2010
Source: Received from author in exchange for honest review
Find the Author: Web
Grade: 4.5 Stars
The Family That Wasn't is a humorous fable of how our families live inside us and how easily they can be lost. It will appeal to both teen and adult readers. The 13-year-old narrator, John Boggle (whose real name is John Bazukas-O'Reilly-Geronimo-Giovanni-Li Choy-Echeverria), finds his family so impossibly crazy that he cannot stand living with them another moment. He invents a new perfect family so convincing that he suddenly finds himself living inside this imaginary world.
But John soon finds that he too has changed. He sees his too perfect image in the mirror and begins to wonder if it is all some kind of mistake. Only trouble is, now he can't remember who he is. He only knows that he must leave this family at once. His sole clue is the name, John Boggle.
To find his true family he embarks on a cross country quest. Along the way he encounters other characters who have also lost touch with their families. Together they must find a way to reconstruct the connections to bring back the family that one was.
Despite its absurd premise, The Family That Wasn't conveys both the strength and fragility of our families. It also poses questions about the power of words and the imagination, and the very nature of reality.
The Family That Wasn’t is a book that I wouldn’t usually choose, but because of the name and cover I decided to try it. I’m glad I did!
John Boggle is a thirteen year old writer with a strange and big family. One day, he goes up to his writing room and writes about a new perfect family and after he’s done, that fiction family becomes reality! He then goes on a journey to find his real family.
Gene Twaronite’s writing is really unique and fun to read. He’s very descriptive and knows how to show character’s emotions. He also knows how to be funny, like funny haha not funny ha, if that makes sense.
The characters in this novel are different and fun to follow. I think my favorite is Venus, John’s half sister, who is obsessed with the planet Venus. Actually, all the characters are my favorite. I like how Gene had John find his family after he “loses” them and they all do something that is part of their personality. For example, John’s mom likes to save garbage so when John finds her after he loses her she’s a CEO type person in a recycled city.
Overall, The Family That Wasn’t is a short fun adventure type read and the only thing I can say that I don’t like is that it isn’t long enough! I’m definitely having my younger siblings read this one.
Grade: 4.5 Stars