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Marcelo in the real world
Stork, Francisco X.
Teen Fiction STORK

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Artfully crafted characters form the heart of Stork's (The Way of the Jaguar) judicious novel. Marcelo Sandoval, a 17-year-old with an Asperger's-like condition, has arranged a job caring for ponies at his special school's therapeutic-riding stables. But he is forced to exit his comfort zone when his high-powered father steers Marcelo to work in his law firm's mailroom (in return, Marcelo can decide whether to stay in special ed, as he prefers, or be mainstreamed for his senior year). Narrating with characteristically flat inflections and frequently forgetting to use the first person, Marcelo manifests his anomalies: he harbors an obsession with religion (he regularly meets with a plainspoken female rabbi, though he's not Jewish); hears "internal" music; and sleeps in a tree house. Readers enter his private world as he navigates the unfamiliar realm of menial tasks and office politics with the ingenuity of a child, his voice never straying from authenticity even as the summer strips away some of his differences. Stork introduces ethical dilemmas, the possibility of love, and other "real world" conflicts, all the while preserving the integrity of his characterizations and intensifying the novel's psychological and emotional stakes. Not to be missed. Ages 14-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time meets John Grisham-on page and screen. Seventeen-year-old Marcelo experiences the world differently from most people. His father, a high-powered lawyer, makes a deal with him. Marcelo can finish his senior year in a school for children with cognitive disorders if he will work a summer in the "real world" of his legal firm. There, Marcelo finds a picture of a girl with half a face that compels him to look more closely at a liability litigation involving the firm's biggest client. Why It Is for Us: Marcelo's first-person narrative affords unique insight into the fascinating thought patterns of a likable character who's not quite like us. For Marcelo, crossing the street takes concentrated effort, but religious philosophy and music interpretation come as natural as breathing. The legal drama is a vehicle for larger questions of friendship, loyalty, and trust. As most readers know, navigating the complexities of the real world is not for the weak of heart.-Angelina Benedetti, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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