Monday 15 February 2010

The Life of Me (Enter at Your Own Risk) - Hank Zipzer Book 14 - Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

The Life of Me (Enter at Your Own Risk)
Hank Zipzer Book 14
Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

Penguin Canada
ISBN 9780448443768

Out of the 16 books available in the Zipzer series, this is now my favourite for a few reasons. First, Hank really begins to accept his learning disability; he also chooses to seek extra help for it. Now true, there is a female interest that draws him to that option but when a young person chooses reading gym over Tae Kwon Do, you know something serious is up. Hank has his first crush and Zoe is in the reading gym also. Hank also tries to keep this change in after-school activities a secret from his dad. But best of all Hank learns how to describe his life with his learning challenges and how it feels to live and struggle with them day in and day out. In learning to admit he has a problem and really working on it, Hank learns how to communicate his struggles and feelings that have been pent up for years.

What is remarkable about this book, and the series as a whole, is the ability by the authors to capture the essence of struggling with a learning disability. I was diagnosed in grade 2 because of a very persistent teacher, but many people are now being diagnosed in college, university and even in the workforce. I know many people who were not diagnosed in school and feel the way Hank does, but they did not know why. These books, even though written for children, are excellent for anyone struggling with learning disabilities, no matter their age. For they will help them see it is not just them and in Hank will see a mirror of some of their own experiences. These books are wonderfully written and are also fun to read. I highly recommend them.

Books by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
Hank Zipzer Books:
1. Niagara Falls, or Does It?
2. I Got a "D" in Salami
3. Day of the Iguana
Zippety Zinger
5. The Night I Flunked My Field Trip
6. Holy Enchilada!
7. Help! Somebody Get me out of Fourth Grade!
8. Summer School? What Genius thought That Up?
My Secret Life as a Ping-Pong Wizard
10. My Dog's a Scaredy-Cat: A Halloween Tail
11. The Curtain Went Up, My Pants Went Down
12. Barfing in the Backseat: How I Survived My Family Road Trip
13. Who Ordered This Baby? Definitely Not Me!
14. Life of Me
15. A Tail of Two Tails
16. Dump Trucks and Dogsleds: I'm On My Way, Mom!
17. A Brand-New Me!

Ghost Buddy Books:
1. Zero to Hero
2. Mind If I Read Your Mind?
3. How to Scare the Pants off Your Pets


Amila Kanchana said...

This sounds good. Relates to my job(Speech Therapist) too. Is it fully enjoyable even if one doesn't read the earlier books of the series?

Steven R. McEvoy said...

Yes. I have read many of them out of order and almost every book is strong enough to stand on it's own. But collectively they are even better.