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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

*Saint Iggy* by K.L. Going- young adult book review

Saint Iggy
by K.L. Going
Grades 10-12 272 pages Harcourt September 2006 Hardcover    

Iggy doesn't have any special talents. He can't draw exceptionally well, he's not a star athlete, he doesn't act, and he doesn't have a hidden talent for playing the violin. He doesn't have a charmed life, either. He's just Iggy, living in the projects with his drug-addicted parents. He gets by day by day, though - until he gets kicked out of school.

He leaves home to go and see his best (and only) friend, Mo, a pot-smoking law school dropout whose newest life goal is to give up material goods and join the Hare Krishna. He's not exactly a stellar example for Iggy, who has decided that he wants to make something out of his life, even if he doesn't really know how.

Iggy's quest to make something of himself will take him to very different parts of his city. After Mo's place, he'll visit a luxurious apartment where Mo's mother lives while her husband carries on his affair on the West Coast, as well as the home of his parents' dealer, which is a party that never ends - a drug party. He'll stop by his school, wishing he could still go there, still have some chance at a future that he knows will never be his. Iggy will even stop by home again. No matter where he is, though, Iggy hopes against all reason that he'll be able to make a difference someday. But he's nothing special - not in any tangible way, anyway. However, he really is unique. He's Iggy.

Saint Iggy is a sad but beautiful book about a kid from the projects who sees the world differently from everyone else. It's about a kid who wants to defy the odds even when the world is working against him. The strong characters in this story make it what it is, particularly Iggy, but none of the other characters are two-dimensional or boring at all.

Iggy Corso's voice is fresh and interesting, as is the way his mind works. He's a unique individual, made the way he is by his tough life since birth. He's not the hero found in most books, but readers will love him despite - or perhaps because of - it. Even those living far away from any place like the rough part of town Iggy calls home will identify with him. Most people aren't exceptionally talented at something, but you wouldn't know it to read most of the books out there. Iggy's story is the exception, and readers will love him for that.

Reading this tragic and heart wrenching - at times heartwarming and hopeful - story is well worth it. Saint Iggy is powerfully, painfully real, and also wonderfully written, a combination that makes for a book that readers won't be able to put down.

Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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