Teens @ Duluth

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Happyface – Stephen Emond

Posted by Laura on July 21, 2010

Happyface, written and illustrated by Stephen Emond, is the sketch book of a teen boy who is having a seriously bad year.

His parents drink and fight a lot, his brother is in college and isn’t particularly happy when he comes home for holidays, and his best friend is a girl he would really like to date.  Our “hero” soldiers on in his journal, but then there is a change.  His parents are separated, he and his mom move from their house and live in a small apartment in another town.  This means that he changes schools.

Now is the time for him to change his attitude and see if life is better that way.  He puts on a smile at school and things do change.  He is given the name Happyface and he starts making friends.  But, nothing really changes.   A smile can hide a lot.

If you are looking for a light, happy-go-lucky read, this is not the book for you.  The journal is heavily illustrated and the story moves at a pretty good clip.  Questions arise and are eventually answered.   What questions?   Why did Happyface and his mother move?  Where is his brother and why doesn’t his father talk to him anymore?  What is with his best friend?  Hmm?

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