Tuesday, June 19, 2007

While We're Waiting For Your Carnival Submission...

(Six more hours before you miss the deadline. And even then, we'll work you in! Submit your Carnival of Children's Literature entry here.)

The Misadventures of Benjamin Bartholomew Piff: You Wish
By Jason Lethcoe

I wanted to like this book. It has footnotes, for heaven's sake! And a time line in an appendix! And maps on the end papers!

Unfortunately, I couldn't get past Benjamin's wishes for Playstations and flat-screen tvs for himself and all the other kids at the orphanage. The author threw in a "massive outdoor power generator" to add a tiny bit of plausibility. Then one of the boys was "so overcome with emotion that he just sat with the unopened Playstation box on his lap, wiping tears from his eyes with his tiny, grubby fist." Gag. I nearly wept, too. We went from wishes vs. curses and good vs. evil directly into consumerism at its very ugliest.

I agree with all of this, but the excelsior file said it better, so I'm going to be lazy and let you read his review.

After you're done reading the review, get busy and submit your Carnival entry.


  1. Oh shucks, I just bought this book tonight! I was about to crack it open for a late-night read when I thought I'd look at your blog and make a list of must have books for my class! Well, I'll read it and see if any of the 5th graders like it!


  2. Ack! I missed the deadline! Oh well. When you come up for some air, stop by and share your favorite posts. I've got Mr. Linky set up.

    Good luck!

  3. Hi Mary,

    Sorry to see that you didn't like the first Benjamin Piff book very much.

    However, I just wanted to let you know that my intent with mentioning things like Playstations, etc. in the book was directly in response to the kinds of things my kids said that they would wish for. They were chosen because of their current social relevance and it really wasn't my intent to design them around anything commercial.

    Anyway, best wishes to you and happy reading!

    -Jason Lethcoe


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