It isn’t very often that I give a five stars to a book, but Biggie by Derek E. Sullivan is one that definitely deserved the elusive high rating. Real and funny and heartbreaking all at once, Biggie is a book with soul. If you ever admitted that you would just rather eat, drink a Mountain Dew or five, and look at the internet than go out and do . . . well, anything, this might just be the book for you.
Henry Abbot, Biggie, is happy with his rather solitary life until he pitches a perfect game of wiffle ball. That experience opens up possibilities in his mind, namely the possibility of getting his longtime crush, Annabelle, to go on a date with him. He hates sports, he is at least a hundred pounds overweight, and he cannot seem to speak coherently to anyone without the aid of a keyboard, but he thinks he might just be able to pitch a perfect game in baseball and win the respect of his home town.
I loved this book. Henry was one of those characters who just leapt off the pages for me. Since the bulk of this book is his inner monologue, it was hard for him to hide his true thoughts and feelings, and it was such an honest depiction of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes I really didn’t like him, and sometimes I just wanted to give him a big hug. He is a character that I hated to see go when I turned the last page (even though it was three a.m. and I had to stand at the kitchen counter for the last fourth of the book because my reader battery died. Even though the next day started at 5:30 a.m., and I was a really snappy and mean English teacher and, honestly, a cranky and mean mom as a result. My kids may not have loved Biggie, but I still did — Henry was that good of a character).
I received an ARC of this gem of a book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Look for it in our classroom library on March 18, 2015!