The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban.
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 2013
List Price: $17.99
Review: What did you get on your tragedy paper? That is the ultimate question that runs through your head as you read The Tragedy Paper written by Elizabeth Laban. Duncan is an average boy who attends the Irving School where the motto is "Enter here to be and find a friend." He was a very normal boyÉ until he entered his senior year living in the worst dorm room at the entire school. In spite of his horrid living conditions, somehow Duncan finds himself.
At the end of their senior year, the students who attend the Irving School must leave a treasure in their dorm room for the future senior that will be living there. As Duncan enters his senior year the only thing he wants is to have a great normal year. Well that's everything he doesn't get. He gets stuck in the worst room at the end of the hall. He's also stuck in the room, where the albino kid, Tim, lived during the previous year. He opens his treasure box to see it's full of tapes that have different names on them. He starts to listen to them and soon realizes that the box is full of tapes that have Tim's voice on them. On the tapes, Tim tells his story and what happened that leads up to the big accident that happened at the end of the precious year. Tim also tells him about his life at the Irving School and how he fell in love with a girl, a girl he could never have. Duncan is horrified at what he learns. As Duncan tries to make sense of the tapes and his own life, he must also think about what he is going to write in the big assignment, the tragedy paper. The paper counts for 70 percent of the final grade and most people don't do very well on it. What do you think Duncan will do? And just what happened in the big accident of the precious year?
The Tragedy Paper is one of the most phenomenal books that I have ever read. Not only is the writing amazing, but the storyline and plot also capture you, and they don't let you go until the very end. Laban keeps you guessing and makes you rethink not only things in the book but your own life as well. I couldn't put this book down and found myself thinking about it all the time. Although, The Tragedy Paper has no inappropriate language, it does have a very mature feel so I strongly encourage people ten and older to read it because the storyline is somewhat difficult to wrap your head completely around. The book would also appeal to both genders fairly well since although the main character are boys, both genders would be able to connect to them. Laban also gives you room to imagine what happens next by giving you clues but not the whole story. I have not one single bad comment about The Tragedy Paper. I liked everything about the story. Laban closes this spectacular book with a very satisfying ending. Laban makes you happy, sad, and filled with joy throughout the entire book and really makes you feel what the characters are feeling. I give The Tragedy Paper five stars and if I had the ability to give more I would! I found The Tragedy Paper one of the best books I have ever read (and I've read a lot) so I know you will too!
Review written by Abby (6th grade student).
We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of The Tragedy Paper for this review.
Have you read The Tragedy Paper? How would you rate it?