Fly on the Wall - E. Lockhart
Age Level: 12+
Reader’s Annotation: Have you ever wished that you could see what was happening in places you can’t go? Say, like the boy’s locker room?
Summary: In a nod to Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Lockhart gives us Gretchen Yee. Gretchen attends school at Ma-Ha, Manhattan School for the Arts, where she resists the uniform conformity to be non-conformist. She worries about her looks, her divorcing parents, her inability to master drawing in a style outside of Marvel comics. Most of all, she wonders why she doesn’t understand boys; and wishes, just for a moment, to be a fly on the wall in the boy’s locker room. In a piece of unexplained magic Gretchen ends up as just that. As a fly she sees the obvious, (naked boys) as well as the un-obvious: bullying, discomfort, fear and more. The novel ends with Gretchen asserting herself in a way she’s never been able to before, and being comfortable in her own skin; whether as a fly or a human.
Evaluation: This is a very fast read for reluctant readers and gets quite a few laughs. Gretchen will find fans for her fierce individuality and Lockhart will certainly attract an audience with her blunt characterizations of a high school locker room.
Author Info: More titles in this series.
Booktalk Ideas: What power would you like? Invisibility? Super hearing?
Challenges: Some parents may be uncomfortable with the premise of a teen girl in a male locker room
Selection: I’ve read several of Lockhart’s other titles, but never picked this one up before.