Friday, September 19, 2014
Death By Toilet Paper
The cover and title of Death By Toilet Paper, by Donna Gephart, appear as if this will be a great, funny read. It is in fact, a great read with lots of laugh-out-loud funny parts, but is also a serious, at times very sad, story about poverty, grief and loss. After 12-year-old Benjamin Epstein's dad died last year, his mom has been struggling to make ends meet. On top of that, Ben has to learn to deal with his aging Zeyde (Yiddish for Grandfather) Jake whose memory is failing him more and more. Ben feels the responsibility of taking care of his mom and Zeyde, and so he puts his long-time hobby as a "sweeper" to good use. He enters pretty much any sweepstakes or contest he can find and has a closet full of stuff to prove it. But now the stakes are high; if he does not win a substantial sum of money soon, they may be evicted. Ben and his best friend, Toothpick, team up using both of their talents and hobbies to enter a contest that could make their troubles go away. I would recommend this wonderful story by one of my favorite authors for kids ages 9 to 12.