My Life as a Book by Janet Tashjian
Derek Fallon is a reluctant reader. His mom tries to bribe him to read with cookies - two cookie per page. What was she thinking? That doesn't do it for this twelve-year-old. When he escapes to the attic, he does find something intriguing to read. It is an old newspaper article from ten years ago. His mother acts very strange when he questions her about the article of a girl drowning. He is obsessed in finding out the mystery.
Derek is all set to have a fantastic summer. He thinks things are hopeless when he finds out that he gets the same teacher again next school year. She has a required summer reading list. This spunky boy would rather use his time doing more creative activities. He does have time for many things: friends, his grandmother, volunteering, a monkey, his dogs.
He discovers that his own life is book with a special story to tell. Janet Tashjian uses a conversational style in this first person narrative. The words that come out of this character's mouth makes him appear to be a real contemporary person. A unique feature about this book is that Tashjian's real fourteen-year-old son drew the hundreds of stick figures for the book!