Thursday, January 24, 2008
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
Zevin, Gabriel. 2007. MEMOIRS OF A TEENAGE AMNESIAC. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. ISBN 9780374349462 [Suggested Grade Levels 7-12]
High school junior Naomi is one of the incoming co-editors of the school newspaper and although it is summertime, she has been to school for a meeting. As she is leaving, she remembers that she has left a very expensive new cameral, so she hurries back to retrieve it. She saves the camera, but in the process, she falls on the school steps and suffers a head injury that results in amnesia. She cannot remember anything that has happened since sixth grade and has no idea why she has birth control pills, why her parents split, and why she was keeping a food diary. In fact, she wonders if “the former Naomi Porter had been, in all likelihood, a complete and total jerk, someone that I probably wouldn’t have wanted to know.”
The book is an amazing journey of self-discovery for Naomi, both discovering whom she was as well as what she has a chance to become. Sometimes funny, often poignant, and always enthralling, the story is thought-provoking and satisfying.
This is the perfect book for a high school book club in that it explores so many issues, is fast paced, has an unusual plot, and is highly entertaining.
In addition, invite those teens who’ve worked on school newspapers or yearbooks to share their experiences.
Teen readers may also find it interesting to research factual information regarding amnesia.
Books dealing with overcoming “bad breaks:”
Aronson, Sarah. HEAD CASE. ISBN 9781596432147
Bingham, Kelly. SHARK GIRL. ISBN 9780763632076
Koertge, Ron. STRAYS. ISBN 9780763627058
By Janet Hilbun