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Books for Reluctant Readers #3: David Wong’s This Book is Full of Spiders

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. 

#3 This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong

Why this book grabs you: Well, it’s literally full of fucking spiders. Specifically, full of insidious, parasitic arachnids from another dimension that are invisible to all but a few humans and, of course, one dog. The main characters are complete nobodies. Stoners who discovered the clandestine drug “soy sauce” which unleashes unlimited mental powers and the ability to see beings from another dimension attached to people’s spines. It’s a truly chilling concept. Fans of John Dies at the End will know what I mean.

Why it has literary merit: Does every book have to have literary merit? Seriously, this is a case that I’ve made time and again. Any book that gets a reluctant reader to smile as their eyes skim over the words the end has literary merit. 

Why it never returns to classroom shelves: Hilarious, disturbing, unexpected, bizzarro, and stoner fiction, all come to mind when describing this book. I’m not advocating, nor have I ever, for drug use, but that combination is extremely seductive to young people who are dangerously close to slipping out of school. As a high school English teacher job #1 is to instill a love of reading. Getting someone who doesn’t read to talk about a book like this a major achievement. Getting them to pass it on to a friend, which has occurred more than a few times, is a game changer. 

If you’re in the mood for something freakily different and disturbing, give David Wong’s This Book is Full of Spiders a try. You won’t forget it.

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. 

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Categories: Book Reviews

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