Just to give an idea of what kind of life Sandy leads, a quote:
Sandy was dismayed at the number of times he had to say “I don’t know” when she asked him what he thought. He was beginning to wonder if, for all his educational advantages, he actually had ever thought.
So, Sandy is smart as a whip--book smart, just not a good critical thinker or real life participant. The book tries to resolve that tension by involving him with a nurse, Sunny, and the patients at an asylum down the road.
I asked my students to pick quotes they felt were most significant to the book, and one chose the following, which summed up most of the classes feelings on the book:
“What a bunch of balderdash.”
It fits. The students who liked it appreciated that it was fantastical and far removed from real life. It provided a real escape. I appreciated what it was trying to do, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to anyone I know--not even a teen reader.
It was okay.