Name of Book: Oggie Cooder
Author: Sarah Weeks
Audience: Ages 8 – 12
Summary: Oggie Cooder is the class weirdo. Donnica Perfecto is his chief nemesis. She wants to win a talent show audition and thinks Oggie’s carving of cheese into shapes is the best way to win. But it is Oggie that inadvertently wins. With Donnica as his manager he is bound to succeed. Soon Oggie learns that fame has its downsides and that Hollywood is Donnica’s dream, not his.
Literary elements at work in the story: The plot is understandable and appropriate for the age level. It is clear and well organized, fast paced and funny. The characters, though quirky, are believable. The secondary characters are a bit stereotypical – spoiled girls, jock boys – but they do not distract much from the story.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story?: This is an imaginative story about friendships and the urge to be popular. Oggie’s conflict between fitting in and finding himself is very relatable.
Scripture: Romans 12:17-21
Theology: Oggie knows what the writer of this passage knows; that kindness, not revenge, is what really matters in life. Oggie had all kinds of reasons to resent those around him, especially Donnica. Donnica used him and yet in the end, Oggie not only lets it go, but works to make Donnica’s dream come true. Live as Oggie did and you too will be able to leave vengeance to God where it belongs!
Faith Talk Questions:
- How do other kids at Oggie’s school feel about him?
- How would you feel about someone in your school like Oggie?
- Have kids ever teased you for what you have worn or something you have done? If so, how did you handle it?
- Oggie sits with his friend Amy at lunch every day. Why do you think nobody else wants to sit with them? Are there kids that sit alone at your school? Why?
- It is very important to Donnica to become famous. This seems to be a popular trend in our society. Why do you think it is so important for people to be famous? What would be good/bad about being famous?
- Even after all that Donnica puts Oggie through, he still allows her to be his manager. Why do you think this is?
- What can you do to live up to the words in this passage from scripture?
Review prepared by regular contributor Janet Lloyd
Filed under: Book Reviews, Books written for Grades 1 -3 (Ages 6-8), Books written for Grades 5-8 (Ages 10 -13), Faith Questions For...., Middle Schoolers, Older Elementary Tagged: | adolescence, fame, Friendship, humor, identity