There’s a book that is frequently discussed at my critique group meetings. It’s been called brilliant, heartbreaking, powerful and a whole host of other adjectives. It had been on my list for ages, but last night I finally read it.
I’m talking about SAINT IGGY by K.L. Going.
When Iggy Corso gets kicked out of high school, there’s no one for him to tell. His mother has gone off, his father is stoned on the couch, and because the phone’s been disconnected, even the social worker can’t get through. So he leaves a note and goes out to make something of his life, but that’s not so easy when you’re sixteen, live in public housing, having no skills, and your only friend is a law school dropout who’s thinking about joining the Hare Krishnas. But Iggy is … Igyy, and he’s got the kind of wisdom that lets him see things no one else can.
In the week leading up to Christmas, Iggy travels all over the city, finding himself in the lap of luxury, the grayness of a never-ending drug party, the haven of a chapel, and finally at the door to a choice that will change his world forever.
The author, K.L. Going, is THE master of creating sympathetic characters. (She also wrote the Printz Honor Book FAT KID RULES THE WORLD). Iggy is the most sympathetic character I’ve come across, maybe ever, and Going has a way of making you connect with the most minor of characters—characters who are on the page for only a few sentences but who you’ll be thinking about long after you close the book. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil anything, but let me just add that after I finished the book last night, I sat on my couch in a daze, staring straight ahead for a good five minutes. Powerful.
So powerful that I think everyone should read it, which is why I’m going to give away a copy of it. All you have to do is leave me a comment with your email address. That’s it. I’ll pick a winner on Friday.