Now 2024 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA+ Artwork WIP

Recent posts

Month in review

Amy and the Missing Puppy by Callie Barkley
Art of Freddy by Walter R. Brooks
The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell
A Birthday Cake for George Washington by Ramin Ganeshram
The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee by Barry Jonsberg
The Endless Pavement by Jacqueline Jackson
FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics Vol. 3: Audeamus by Simon Oliver
A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins
Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray by Frank J. Barbiere
The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami by Matthew Carl Strecher
Fox's Garden by Princesse Camcam
Freddy Goes to the North Pole by Walter R. Brooks
Frindle by Andrew Clements
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible by Ursula Vernon
A Haunting Dream by Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene
Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow
Interstate 69 by Matt Dellinger
Moby-Dick: An Ocean Primer by Jennifer Adams
Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Noragami Volume 01 by Adachitoka
Noragami Volume 02 by Adachitoka
Steal the Sky by Megan E. O'Keefe
The Terrible Two Get Worse by Mac Barnett
Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
The Underground City (aka Child of the Cavern) by Jules Verne
Unstoppable Octobia May by Sharon G. Flake
What a Ghoul Wants by Victoria Laurie

The Road (narrative project) So Far...

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Beat the Backlist 2024

Ozathon: 12/2023-01/2025

Canadian Book Challenge: 2023-2024

Chicken Prints
Paintings and Postcards

Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.

The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee: 02/13/16

The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee by Barry Jonsberg

The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee by Barry Jonsberg was originally published in Australia as My Life as an Alphabet which is frankly a better title given that each chapter is themed on a different letter of the alphabet as it relates to the main character's life.

This book reminds me of all things like the tween version of Illywacker by Peter Carey with a seasoning of Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars by Daniel Pinkwater. I know what you're thinking; I didn't like the Pinkwater book. Well, here's the same premise presented in a clever and humorous way that I do like.

Candice Phee is an odd ball. She is what my third grade teacher would have called "divergent." That's not to say she belongs in two factions at once or somehow failed the test run by post apocalyptic Chicago, but she's definitely not one of the "normal" kids. Fortunately she has a teacher who understands this and has given her extra time to do her A to Z "about me" assignment.

The assignment's supposed to be one sentence to maybe one paragraph per letter. You know like: A is for artist; I like to paint. My favorite medium is acrylic. B is for books; I run a book blog and am a librarian. And so forth. Except for Candice she needs chapters to fill each letter and, as you can imagine, the resulting work is the book I'm reviewing.

So the Illywhacker / Boy from Mars mash-up comes from the boy Candice befriends. He claims to be from an alternate universe. His story is this: he was climbing a tree, fell out, and somehow ended up switching places with this universe's version. Though his "parents" do notice a change in his personality they think it's from the head trauma he received. Now as someone who has read and seen Picnic and Hanging Rock and was a fan (up until the last season) of Fringe, I am willing to take the boy's word at face value. So, interestingly, is Candice and she decides to help him get home.

To say I loved this book would be an understatement. It's going on my very short lists of books I want to re-read multiple times.

Five stars

Comments (0)

Lab puppy
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:

Twitter Tumblr Mastadon Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2024 Sarah Sammis