Monday, January 12, 2015

The Glass Cafe by Gary Paulsen

The Glass Cafe: Or the Stripper and the State; How My Mother Started a War with the System That Made Us Kind of Rich and a Little Bit Famous-  by Gary Paulsen, 115 pages

Told in first person, this quick read was a bit odd (as it's told from Paulsen's past), but somewhat enjoyable nonetheless. Twelve year old Tony lives with his mom, Al (short for Alice), who is a stripper at the Kitty-Cat Club. He and his mom enjoy reading books and having discussions about them (his mom has a Masters in English) instead of watching television. As Tony describes his apartment complex, neighborhood and school, you come to the understanding that he is well loved by those around him (including dogs), and is an all around good kid.  When Tony's art teacher describes the human body as the best art study, Tony heads to his mom's work to study and sketch her coworkers (with mom's permission, of course). The women are in various state of undress/dress and Tony sketches the most artistically intriguing. Impressed with his work, his teacher requests permission from Al to display the drawings at an art gallery as part of a competition. There a concerned citizen requests an investigation of Al thinking Tony is being subjected to abuse. Chaos quickly ensues complete with courtroom drama, romance and all-out silliness.

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