Thoughtful & Contemporary Coming of Age Story

Summary:

Ray is a history buff. He knows everything there is to know about Burgerville's past. Ray and Simon have spent high school together, just the two of them. Then this new girl arrives and they become a trio. Ray is mesmerized. He is stunned by this person who is turning his small town into a more interesting place. Together, the friends discover things they have never dealt with before: love, loss, and legend of the green cows. Ray, our narrator, never mentions the girl's real name because it "doesn't feel right." So in telling this story - which goes back and forth between current and historic events - he calls her Jane Doe. 


BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
I thought this was an interesting book. I read it on the recommendation of a teacher at school. Originally I thought this was going to be a book I would have to fight through. But it wasn't. I went through it quickly, enjoying these characters and the quirky town they lived in. 

The story also deals with mental illness and loss, themes I like to find in books. I would recommend this to teenagers and older, as this contains language, underage drinking, and character death. 


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers who love books that make them think or characters who are unique will love spending time in Burgerville. The story is poignant, thought-provoking, and humorous, too.

Content Awareness Factors:

The serious themes in the story - depression, relationships, growing up - are woven among realistic yet humorous moments in a teen's life. The story lends itself to reading aloud with your teen or, short of that, reading it separately and then coming together to discuss.


Type of Book:
This is a young adult novel about relationships, growing up, and dealing with mental illness issues like depression.
Educational Themes:

The serious themes in the story - depression, relationships, growing up - are woven among realistic yet humorous moments in a teen's life. The story lends itself to reading aloud with your teen or, short of that, reading it separately and then coming together to discuss. 
 

Reading Level:
unknown
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
16 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
15 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 16
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow, at least. This is an insightful book with characters teens will relate to.
book cover

Title The History of Jane Doe
Author Michael Belanger
Publisher Dial Books, Imprint Penguin Young Readers Group © 2018
ISBN 9780735228825
Material Hard Cover
Cost $10.99
Genres Humor, Realism | Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Social Issues, Romance
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