Happyface has had his ups and downs in his 14 years of life, and he and his mom just moved to a new town following his parents' divorce. He's determined to have some friends in this school and to not be the depressed loner that he was in his old town. So, he puts on a happy face and becomes one of those kids who smiles a lot, makes some jokes, laughs with others, and overall is kind of fun to be around. But when he starts failing classes, falling in love with Gretchen, and finding some real friends, he finds it harder and harder to keep the Happyface mask as a cover-up.
Interspersed with the words of this story are Happyface's drawings, email and IM conversations, letters, and comic additions. Happyface is a pretty cool guy and he draws the reader in like a friend by sharing his down-on-his-luck moments with humor and a bit of obviously false bravado. But the more our readers learn about Happyface, the more they discover that he's a lot more like them than he's willing to outright admit.
Strongly recommended to all readers. This quick, fun read also has some tough, real life stuff packed inside.
Call number: YA EMOND
Recommended by kate the librarian.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
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