Hannah Moskowitz has a bit of a cult following. And after reading Marco Impossible, I understand why. True, it is her first middle grade novel, and yes, it is my first time reading her work, but my fan status has officially been pledged and I can’t wait to delve into her previous magic.
From what I’ve gathered, Moskowitz is famous (or is it infamous?) for sad endings. But I’m happy to say that though Marco’s ending may illicit tears for some readers, it’s the happy kind (which in my opinion are the most cathartic).
The characters in this novel are real, fully fleshed, and capable of afflicting readers with the desire to plot elaborate schemes, solve everyday mysteries, and indulge in excessive moodiness and the ocassional sardonic response to common sense (all in the name of love).
Here’s the gist:
Stephen and Marco are best friends. With middle school approaching an end and high school on the horizon, the boys construct a complicated scheme to break into senior prom and give Marco a (very public) chance to confess his overwhelming love for Benji (a member of the school band), before Marco moves away to go to a private school and never sees Benji again.
Narrated from Stephen’s point of view, the boys somewhat eccentric friendship is endearing from the first page. Yes, perhaps Marco is a tad too self-involved, but Stephen’s deconstruction of his best friend’s actions are hilarious and fitting. I loved knowing Marco (and his elaborate crush) through Stephen’s eyes.
Although some critics believe Marco Impossible belongs in the YA section of the bookstore, I felt the tone/voice of the novel was perfect for middle grade, especially those 7th graders who are already boarding on the MG/YA book line. The quality of writing is right up there with Rebecca Stead (and any of you who have read my interviews/reviews of her stuff knows what a compliment that is from me).
Read it. You’ll like.