Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Universe Versus Alex Woods
Extence, Gavin.  The Universe Versus Alex Woods.  NY: Redhood Books, c2013.  407 pages.

When I began this book, I thought it was going to be in the sci fi category.  It begins with Alex being hit in the head with a meteorite.  Instead, it was an almost humorous story about two very unhumorous subjects, epilepsy and assisted suicide.

Alex developed severe epilepsy following his injury.  Because of that, his overprotective mother tried hard to make sure he was never alone in case of a seizure.  Though Alex did not care much if kids at school made fun of him, one unavoidable incident caused a lot of damage to the property of an older man.  Because of this, Alex's mother made him spend Saturday's helping Mr. Peterson do odd jobs.  Eventually the two became good friends.  When Mr. Peterson became ill, Alex's life was about to change again.

I really like Alex.  He is smart and inquisitive and very pragmatic about how the world works.  He is also a good person to whom doing the "right" thing is very important.  I learned a lot about having epilepsy and did a lot of thinking about how to know what the "right" thing is.

Because  of the seriousness of assisted suicide, I would recommend this book for high school and above.  Junior high students would need to be very grounded to read this book in light of the teachings of the church.  Review by Mrs. Belknap


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