Monday, April 19, 2010

Nothing by Janne Teller YP FIC TELLER

One day Pierre Anthon, a seemingly normal Danish 7th grader, realizes that life has no meaning. He therefore decides to spend all his time in a plum tree trying to get used to doing nothing. This causes the rest of his class to question the meaning in their lives. Not wanting to question the meaning their lives they decide on a decisive course of actions: pelting Pierre with rocks. Unfortunately, Pierre is unfazed and continues ridiculing their belief in any meaning. They then come up with a master plan: build a Pile of Meaning in an abandoned saw mill. Each child must give up what is most precious. When they discover that they cannot give up what they love the children then start to pick another child's item. This leads to bitterness and each child trying to have revenge by picking something more precious then what they lost. Then things go terribly, horribly, tragically wrong.

WARNING: This novel is dark with a capital D. But I loved it anyways. It is creepy, sad, and absolutely unique. It takes a really cold and serious look at what people will do to hold onto feeling 'normal'. The kids start by picking items that are really personal, but then bitterness at losing a favorite item leads them to pick some seriously evil choices to take from their classmates. The fact that the setting is Danish didn't bother me and I actually liked having a foreignness to the story. The kids and what they do could all be set anywhere but the bleakness of Denmark did add to the story. This is definitely a good read for fans of books like Lord of the Flies or other books that show what monsters lie in the hearts of people.

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