SirTheory’s Treatise on Life

(opinions on just about anything)

I Want To Go Home by Gordon Korman

Children’s books are highly underrated by most people. Harry Potter, of course, gets read by a lot of adults. Yet it still gets labeled as “just” a children’s book. People just seem to think that writing children’s books means dumbing things down. And most people don’t like dumbed down. The attitude is one that I try to fight hard against. Well written words are well written words, regardless of the audience.

Gordon Korman wrote one of my favorite books ever. I Want To Go Home, even now, is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I would put it above Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy or Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens. (Both of which are, in their own right, super books.) Gordon Korman has a fantastically dry sense of humor and mixes it with amusing characters and situations.

I Want To Go Home is where all of what Korman does well comes together in a perfect storm. Mike is your average non-athletic guy. The only thing that stands out about him is that nothing stands out about him. A nice enough guy, but not bold enough to really make friends. He is forced into camp and it is with no enthusiasm that he arrives. The only other person at the camp who hates camp more than Mike is the mysterious Rudy.

Camp Algonkian is situated on an island which is devoted entirely to the camping of kids. So when Rudy and Mike become friends the suggestion of escaping camp is ludicrous. It would take someone really smart and able to succeed. Thankfully Rudy has a plan.  And another plan. He implements more plans than can be counted on one hand. Yet escape always seems to elude them.

What sounds like a simple story gets twisted in Korman’s situational humor and the result is catastrophically funny. Reviews on Amazon are littered with adults who reminisce about reading the book over and over as a kid, and who still reads it and dies laughing. It is laugh out loud funny, will warm your heart, will make you say “oh no he didn’t!”, and more. Give it a try.


August 29, 2007 - Posted by | Literature


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