Book Review: Don’t Call Me Ishmael

I won’t lie – I stayed up until 2 AM to finish this book. It was beautiful. Everything about it was beautiful, but what stuck out to me most was the author’s voice.

Here is what is says on the inside cover of the book:

By the time ninth grade begins, Ishmael Leseur knows it won’t be long before Barry Bagsley, the class bully, says, “Ishmael? What kind of wussy-crap name is that?” Ishmael’s perfected the art of making himself virtually invisible. But all that changes when James Scobie joins the class. Unlike Ishmael, James has no sense of fear – he claims it was removed during an operation.

Now nothing will stop James and Ishmael from taking on bullies, bugs, and Moby Dick, in the toughest, weirdest, most embarrassingly awful… and best year of their lives.

This book did everything a book is supposed to do. I laughed at all the funny parts. When Ishmael was embarrassed, I was squirming in my seat because I felt uncomfortable, too. And when he succeeded, I wanted to cheer for him.

But I think the biggest compliment to the author is the fact that I stayed up so late reading it! I had a decent chunk of the book left to read, but I knew I had to finish it that same night… THIS is what a book should do. And it’s been a long time since I felt this way about any book.

Was it perfect? Of course not. To be honest, I had a little bit of trouble getting into it at the beginning. But once I got into it, the author’s voice was so strong that any other fault could have been overlooked.

If you’re looking for something entertaining, quick, and beautiful, I would recommend Don’t Call Me Ishmael. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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