As a high school teacher, I have complete control over my small classroom library. Among the hand-me-downs, library leftovers and nobody-teaches-me-anymore books are carefully placed titles for reluctant readers. These are the books students who never read come back to me and say, “That was the best book I’ve ever read!”
These are the books I buy over and over again because they never come back.
Why this book grabs you (in physical form especially): The pages are stained and antiqued at the edges. Burned, almost, which is fitting, because this book demands you “Burn this book!” at the very beginning. This book talks to you, the reader, directly, as though you’re sitting in the room with the narrator. Over and over it warns you, menacingly, to stop reading. At one point, the narrator says the number of pages left in the book is the number of steps they are behind you.
Why it has literary merit: Even though this story is told from the point of view of a lesser demon, the demon became trapped in the book the moment the Gutenberg press came into being. It catapults them into history and forces them to consider the value, and weight of the written word.
Why it never returns to classroom shelves: No one burns this book. Who could set a demon free? Students pass this book on to their friends like the STD in It Follows because it’s fun to watch them squirm.
Mr. B Gone is one of the most engaging, underrated horror books of all time, including many others that I can’t pass on to students because of their adult themes. This book is short, grabs people who only watch youtube, and doesn’t let go.
Do you know of a book that is perfect to pass on to a reluctant reader? Drop us a line and let us know why someone who hates reading would love it.
Categories: Book Reviews