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The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher

Review

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher

THE MISADVENTURES OF THE FAMILY FLETCHER by Dana Allison Levy is a great contemporary realistic fiction novel for intermediate grade readers. Levy deals with such issues as same-sex marriage, identity, bullying, adoption, first-impressions, war and making mistakes. She handles these modern --- and timeless --- topics in matter-of-fact and realistic ways. In fact, many of the issues, such as same-sex marriage, are not presented as “issues” at all, but rather are just accepted as part of life. In the case of same-sex marriage, the Fletcher family is headed by two men, Dad and Papa, and no explanation or justification is provided, which is refreshing as this is not a book about having two dads, but rather about being a kid and the sometimes struggles of growing up.

The rest of the family is composed of four adopted boys; they are: Sam, age 12, Jax, age 10, Eli, age 10 (but younger than Jax) and Frog, age 6. Throughout the book, Levy allows each boy’s voice to shine through, as each chapter is told from a different viewpoint. While I enjoyed getting to know the thoughts of each boy more completely during his chapter, I also felt like Levy was trying to include too many perspectives. The result was an incomplete picture of what was happening, rather than a complete picture of events from multiple perspectives. I think that I partially felt this way because each boy is so unique and such a great character, and Levy’s writing is so entertaining, that I wanted to hear more from each boy.

Levy did a great job of making each boy a multidimensional character, which helped reinforce one of the book’s primary messages  --- we each have different interests and talents and we shouldn’t limit ourselves, or others, to just one.

Levy did a great job of making each boy a multidimensional character, which helped reinforce one of the book’s primary messages  --- we each have different interests and talents and we shouldn’t limit ourselves, or others, to just one. Sam was the primary example of this lesson as he was a gifted soccer player and tended to limit himself to this interest. However, he becomes interested in the school play and when he tries out and is cast in one of the lead roles, he struggles with his identity as a soccer player. His friends judge him for doing something artistic instead of athletic, but they, and Sam, soon realize that this is a limited view of people and the world.

Levy started each chapter with a note, memo or email from a different character; these were primarily from Dad and Papa. This was a unique and fun way to start each chapter and it served to provide more information on past events or a sneak peek at upcoming events.

Readers of Levy’s first book will clamor to read more from her and more about the Fletcher family. Thankfully, there is a sequel in the works!

Reviewed by Aimee Rogers on August 7, 2014

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher
(The Family Fletcher #1)
by Dana Alison Levy

  • Publication Date: July 22, 2014
  • Genres: Children's
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0385376529
  • ISBN-13: 9780385376525