Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{September 7, 2011}   {Review} The Next Shakespeare by Wanda Ernstberger

From Goodreads:  Who thought a poem would trigger World War Three?

Tristan Gunner—skateboard fanatic, junk food junkie, award-winning poet. But you’d think he just got detention instead of the school’s grand prize for poetry. And even though Chris won five Math and Science awards, the next Einstein is crying because he’s not the next Shakespeare. Astra wants them both to cut the drama, and caught between a mortified winner and a crybaby loser, she hopes Chris can get over his attitude before World War Three erupts in her kitchen.


This is a very interesting coming-of-age short story entailing greed and selfishness.  Tristan has won an award he doesn’t want, Chris has won five awards except the one he really wants, and Astra is stuck in the middle of this war brought on by Chris, a greedy, selfish young man who can’t fathom how someone like Tristan, of all people, could have won The Next Shakespeare award. 

I thought this was a very well written short story, though I wasn’t able to connect with the characters as much as I’d have liked to.  I found them to be a little flat, but I think it’s near impossible to create round, enticing characters within twenty pages, so I commend Ernstberger on her ability to create a great story in such a short span of pages.  Ernstberger has created a wonderful tale of right and wrong for all ages, and I especially think the message would benefit both MG and YA as greed and selfishness is a problem I see in the classroom all the time.  Three stars.


et cetera
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