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today 6/2/16 on aobibliosphere™ [aobibliospotlight™: A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart]

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

review: the league of freaks and the secret key by Alberto Hazan, M.D

You were born an original.  Don't die a copy. - John Mason

The League of Freaks
Shree Mandvi bids farewell to her life in New York and moves to Massachusetts with her parents. on their way to Boston , they stop at a strange diner where she discovers a book about a treasure that John Harvard has hidden somewhere in Harvard University. once the family gets to Cambridge, she settles into her new home, new surroundings and new school. however, she is unsettled by the changes in her body and discovers four other people with strange abilities. bonding together to form The League of Freaks, they search for John's treasure and for the secret key that would open it.
facing a new life among strangers can be frightening for anyone especially for young people. things even get more complicated and daunting when one is different from within and without. Shree has to put up with the bullying, name calling and more. what is it about "not fitting the norm" that makes other people envious or hateful? why is it sometimes so difficult to understand and accept that each individual is unique? is it because we find it hard to accept and understand ourselves too?
i was really fortunate that i never encountered discrimination or bullying during my student days. i do sympathize with Shree and her friends and with what they had to go through to fit in.
i feel sorry for the rich spoiled bullies that made the freaks' lives miserable. i believe that these types are themselves frightened or lonely and are just reaching out for recognition and acceptance but doing it the wrong way.
a few days ago, i came across an interview with author T.L.Gray at Lou's blog Reader Recommended T.L. Gray mentioned something that caught my attention. she said "never allow your gift to be a burden
." i agree with her and i think that the book is telling us to feel good about ourselves, to be respectful of each individual's uniqueness and to make use of the special gifts or talents that we have been born with.
on a lighter note, i also enjoyed reading this book because it took me back to some of the places i went to when i stayed for a week with my aunts in Boston years ago. through Shree and her friends, i relived those wonderful memories. some of the things i did were:
  • a brief tour of Harvard campus where i stopped by John Harvard's statue to rub his foot for good luck
  • a hearty snack at one of the cafes in Harvard Square
  • a visit to the Harvard Coop where i got myself a Harvard coffee mug, a sweatshirt and some stickers
  • an exciting afternoon at Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox pit themselves against Oakland A's
  • a unique and unforgettable Duck Tours ride on an amphibian vehicle that took us around the city and on Charles River itself
this urban fantasy by Alberto Hazan is an entertaining read from start to finish and would certainly find a place among young and mature fans of the genre. The League of Freaks and The Secret Key is available at the Amazon store and in multiple formats at Smashwords

my personal rating is:

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