Required Reading

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Monday, May 31, 2010

School Of Possibilities by Seita Parkkola

This was a curious book. I would have pegged it as targeting middle school kids even if it didn’t say so on the back cover. Storm is a troubled child sent to a school for troubled children where he meets Stepford Wife types of kids. Outside of school he meets India who is a self professed guard. How Storm interacts with his peers, family and school comprises the gist of the book.
This is a dark book. There are no adults portrayed with any redeeming characteristics. For some reason I was reminded of “Brave New World, 1984 and Lord of the Flies”. As an adult I found it very depressing and I can’t imagine it wouldn’t be worse for a kid. Parents with no back bone, an evil guidance counselor and mindless kids abound. The few redeeming characters are other “lost” kids. There are either a lot of confusing elements or symbolic references that I am missing.

I was under the impression that Finland had a high suicide rate and I was attributing the dark nature of the book to the nationality of the author. It didn’t take much research to discover that while they are suggested to be a bit dour, the Finns fall in the midrange of suicide statistics.

The characterizations and descriptions were well done. Storm’s despair was poignant and painful.

This book is worth reading but I think that high school might be more appropriate. The total lack of any adults of value is disturbing, in that a child at risk may find it entirely too easy to slip into the despair that Storm experienced.

Body of work of Seita Parkkola

Web Site: none found

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