Author: Del Shannon
Title: Kevin’s Point of View
Publisher: Flatiron View Books (October 26th 2010)
Disclaimer: Copy received for review purposes.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Kevin Tobin is a relatively ordinary 12-year-old dealing with the aftermath of his father's death in a mountain biking accident near their home in Boulder, Colorado. To escape from his emotional turmoil, Kevin has developed his imagination into a dangerous foil and a powerful ally. While he antagonizes his sister through his superhero antics on an average Wednesday morning, his ability to escape inside a character's head become critical to his survival after his life is once-again turned upside down a year after his father's death. A mysterious package arrives in the mail, Kevin and his best friend are hunted down by a ruthless villain set upon world domination, and after enlisting Kevin's teenage sister and her pizza-delivery boyfriend in a battle for control over time itself, the secret of Kevin's whole existence is revealed to him by a source we never expected. Del Shannon's imaginative story, appreciation for the powers of family and the desire of young boys to both escape reality and prove themselves within it, and fast-paced, adventure-filled storytelling style make this a book with wide appeal for readers of all ages.” GoodReads’ blurb
When I got the request to review this book, I wasn’t sure at all about accepting it. It’s geared towards middle grade, and that’s not the age range I usually review for. But the fact remained: the premise was interesting, and I decided to take the plunge.
Well, I’m so glad that I did.
I’m not going to lie: it is middle-grader level. Those of you who enjoy the darker aspects of fantasy, or need to have everything making perfect sense through plausible explanations, you need to move towards books for older audiences.
That said, though, Kevin’s Point of View was deeper than you’d expect. Kevin imagination is not just daydreaming – it’s part of how he lives, and at times it clashes horribly with reality, but some other times it’ll save his life. I loved reading this tale of a boy so closed off to the world, and in spite of his episodes, or because of them, he was very likeable.
The cast doesn’t fall flat at all, either: bad guys and good guys are clearly defined, of course, but they do have layers: Kevin’s friend, for example, is more than reluctant to help and get in trouble. The Bad Guy’s sidekick is not exactly good, but we can catch glimpses and insight about why he acts as he does – and at times, I did feel sorry for him! Not that I condone his actions, but... Yeah.
Action was fluid and pretty much non-stop. There were over-the-top bits, the kind that made me think of good old cartoons and made me smile(there’s, for example, this scene of the villainous sidekick falling down the shaft of a mine to test the Bad Guy’s anti-intruder traps). There were thrilling scenes, where I was scared for the boys and glad to see them escape by the skin of their teeth (or the power of Kevin’s imagination, anyway). And there were scenes that were plain fun.
All in all, I think this book is amazing for its appropriate age range, and if you do have a kid and buy it, you might want to read it because you’ll probably enjoy the tale. You’ll probably appreciate more things about Kevin and his method to dealing with trauma if you do, but that’s not the core of the story – just a nice touch for us older readers, and a bit of a lesson for the younger ones.