Thursday, May 9, 2013

REVIEW: Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Delectable Essays by Rebecca Stern & Brad Wolfe

Title:                       Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Delectable Essays
Author:                   Rebecca Stern & Brad Wolfe 
Release Date:      June 25/2013
Genre:                Middle Grade Fiction/Non-Fiction
Publisher:           Roaring Brook Press
Page Count:        224
Acquired:            Sent from Publisher
Format:              ARC-Paperback
Read On:            Apr 21-Apr 27/2013
Goodreads:         ADD
Purchase:           Amazon/Indigo/Book Depository

Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Delectable Essays will inspire students to think differently about the much feared assignment in elementary and middle schools around the country: essay writing.

Rebecca Stern’s fifth grade students were bored to death with essay writing, and the one thing Rebecca needed to inspire them—great examples appropriate for kids—was nowhere to be found. Inspired by a challenge, Rebecca joined forces with her friend, social entrepreneur Brad Wolfe, and the two came up with a terrific proposal—to gather together a collection of unconventional essays by some of the best writers around. They have compiled and edited a collection of imaginative, rule-breaking, and untraditional essays that is sure to change the way you think about the essay.


Breakfast on Mars was a terrific idea for a book. It contained a little taste of genius from so many great authors: Ransom Riggs, Scott Westerfield and Ned Vizzini, to name a few. I absolutely loathed essay-writing in school, and cursed the day someone, somewhere, decided to make structured writing a thing. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment *le sigh*.

I wish this book was published while I was in grade school. Breakfast on Mars was compiled of 38 essays, written like essays ought to be written like. YEAH, that sentence just happened. I was fascinated by the intro, which details the history of the dreaded writing layout, and informed me that essays didn't start out as pure evil. No sir, they were once magical, unrestricted, pieces of art. Free to roam, and frolic, and be whatever it chose to be, however we chose it to be. Breakfast on Mars was a tribute of sorts, to the first generation of essays, when essays were a cool thing to be. There were personal essays, persuasive essays, literary essays and a whole array of others that were cleverly written, and an absolute joy to read. 

Each author was given a topic, for example "Write about a time when you had to experience pain in order to get a huge reward." For this one, author Chris Epting wrote a personal essay entitled Penguin Etiquette, that detailed, complete with pictures!, a trip to the Antarctic with his daughter to study emperor penguins. The essay was comprised of only 11 pages (words and photos), but Chris conveyed such poignancy and beauty onto those pages, that I felt like I read an entire novel of adventure. Which was, in essence, the point of the book. To prove that essays don't need be a drab, soul-crushing feat. They could be sounding boards for knowledge, and can be read like a novella even!

I enjoyed so many of the essays in Breakfast on Mars, they were mini bursts of happiness, and I couldn't turn the page to the next one fast enough. If you get a chance, read this book, then pass it along to your children!

Recommended for fans of: ALL genres. Many of us were the victims of essay-writing. Read this and think of it as your revenge on structure! I did =)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment love is always appreciated! =)
I will always try my best to comment back!