This book hit me in the gut. The main character Augie, is completely average. In fact, most of the time he is below average.
The book explains his struggles relating to his parents’ high expectations. There are positive influences such as a babysitter, and a math teacher, who accept him for who he is without trying to push him to be someone else.
Lisa Graff really gets into Augie’s head, and helps the reader feel for his situation. You understand his perspective, and how aware he is that he isn’t living up to his parents’ hopes and dreams.
As a reader, I hoped that Augie would find out that he had some awesome talent, like guitar playing, or art, or robot-building. But this never happens. Instead, Graff lets Augie stay as he is… average.
As such, the reader is presented with a challenge. Can they accept Augie as he is?
Often, part of the charm of reading a book is relating to a super cool main character, who can totally take on the impossible and be the chosen one. You know. Luke use the force.
This book challenges that concept. Augie as a character demonstrated to me that everyone deserves kindness and that everyone is born with the same amount of worth as everyone else.