Thirteen-year-old Martin Boyle is cursed. His aunt is about to give birth to a baby boy who, according to family tradition, will be named "Martin"---and his cemetery research reveals that when one Martin is born, another dies! That means he has three months to live. Can he stop the jinx in time? Ages 9 to 12. 272 pages, hardcover from Zonderkidz.
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First I (Jill) must say, that I bought this book strictly because of the book trailer. I thought it was awesome. And I showed it to my son, Luke. After he watched it, he nodded at me, and I ordered the book. So, here is the trailer, for your viewing pleasure:
Martin Boyle lives a crazy life. His mother is a germaphobe and his father is never home—always off reenacting Civil War battles, his best friend is trying to steal the girl he likes, and on top of all that… Martin is cursed. In a graveyard of his ancestors, he discovers this horrible truth. When one Martin is born, the previous Martin dies. And Martin’s aunt is about to give birth to a boy, who, according to family tradition, will be named Martin.
I read this book aloud to my son, and we had a really hard time understanding what was going on at first. There were several places where Luke stopped my reading to asked a question. He was confused as to what had happened. So I read back to see what we had misunderstood. It was mostly the mom’s character that had us puzzled. Once we realized that she was a germaphobe—and a beyond crazy one—things made a lot more sense. It would have been wise to have Martin think about her crazy, germaphobic tendencies in the first few pages, but maybe it was just us.
About halfway through the book, it took off and we were hooked. We loved Poole. Once that guy came into the story, it was hysterical. Lani was also a fun character. And the idea of living each day as if it were the last, being yourself, and looking for joy in every moment made this a really powerful story. It turned out to be a lot of laugh-out-loud fun for both of us.