Monday, September 30, 2013

The Night the Moon Ate My Room!, by Jesse Wilson

The Night the Room Ate My Room!
Author: Jesse Wilson
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Source: Goodreads
View on Amazon

Oh dear. I can tell that author Jesse Wilson loves this book dearly. Not only did he promote it on Goodreads (which is where I first heard about it, and how I won a free giveaway copy--thanks again) but when he sent me a copy I saw that he had also sprung for the matching bookmark. This book is his baby. Not only that, but his author bio lists his job as giving "educational performances of The Night the Moon Ate My Room for schools." Eek! This book is his life. So I'd hat to tell him I didn't love it.

In fact, if your name is Jesse Wilson and you're reading this you may want to just stop right now. Go get some tea, take a walk, then come back and look at a different website altogether. Okay?


The truth is I hated this book. There's so much I hated about it I don't even know where to start because it makes me feel a little mean. But here are the main criticisms:

First, the book is such a clumsy allegory that even the author of the "Footprints in the Sand" poem would be like, "Whoa! Pull back a little!" It's like if you took a Mitch Albom book (say, Five People You Meet in Heaven) but stripped away all the sentimentality and relatability and all the things that make you care about hte character, and all you were left with was "The Lesson." Or if you took a Roald Dahl book (like James and the Giant Peach, for example) and surgcally removed all whimsy and clever writing until all that remained was...well, still better than this book, quite frankly.

Don't believe me? Well how about this. Even though the book is over 120 pages long he never bothers to give the main character a name. It's not all told in the first person either. Most of it is a third person narrative in which he refers to the hero of the story as simply "the boy."

Few things irritate me more than authors who are so intent on "teaching a lesson" that they forego good writing, good editing or good storytelling in order to focus solely on "the message." I find it insulting to the target audience and to the target buyers, teachers and parents. Because do you know who doesn't have to sacrifice good storytelling in order to impart a lesson? Good storytellers. And Jesse Wilson is not one.

Whew! I'm glad I asked him to leave the room before he read that.

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Christopher Meades said...

that's such a shame. It looked good.....

Beatnik Mary said...

I know, right? My daughter was obsessed with the title (it IS fun to say) but it was so disappointing that the book didn't live up.