Book Review: Flowers for Algernon (Keyes)

Have I read this before: Yup! I think I read it in 8th grade. I have vague memories of reading it in Mrs. Tragesser’s classroom.    

Review: This is a great book. I’ve always liked stories that are told through a journal/log perspective and that plus the arc of Charlie’s story really makes the whole thing even more impactful. I like how you can see how he changes not only in the vocab he uses but in the way he writes and the way he slowly learns (and unlearns) spelling, grammar, and general sentence structure. The way these changes happen alongside his changes in how he views himself and the world is great.

Favorite part: Probably this passage, where Charlie is kind of at his “peak” of intelligence and has become very aware of who he is and where he stands in the universe:

“But then, I can’t blame him because he doesn’t realize that finding out who I really am—the meaning of my total existence involves knowing the possibilities of my future as well as my past, where I’m going as well as where I’ve been. Although we know the end of the maze holds death…I see now that the path I choose through that maze makes me what I am. I am not only a thing, but also a way of being—one of many ways—and knowing the paths I have followed and the ones left to take will help me understand what I am becoming.”

Rating: 7/10

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