Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

12 Dec

Being Henry David

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

(via Netgalley)  Publication Date:  March 1, 2013


What if you wake up in a New York train terminal with a copy of Walden and no memory at all?  Not a name, not an ID, not a bag, not even an idea of what you look like.  Will Thoreau have the answers he needs?

This story moves surprisingly well.  I was afraid that a troubled teen searching inside himself would drag, but this doesn’t.  I thought perhaps I want to reread Walden to really understand this book, but I think “Henry David” distills the key lines and interprets them for us.  It may still move me to pick up Walden again, but more for confirmation.  I am not sure it will move my 8th graders to read Thoreau, but it may give them a little more insight into one of America’s great writers.  “Henry David” or “Hank” finds himself yearning for the simple life.  “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”  As “Hank” searches Concord, Massachusetts (home to Walden Pond) for answers to his past, he has to push past the pain to find the grievous secrets locking him out of his own head.

Recommended:  Ages 13+



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