Sunday, November 14, 2010


Pages: 321
Date: 14/11/2010
Grade: 5

When the book starts it's Jack's fifth birthday and he celebrates it with his Ma in Room, the small space that has been his whole world since the day he was born.
Everything Jack knows, sees, feels and smells exists in this space, about 30m by 30m big. The things and people in the room are the only things that are real. Things on TV are just that, things on TV, and not real. 
The only other real human is "Old Nick" the man who comes to visit Jack's Ma at night. But Jack never sees Old Nick because his mother always puts him safely in Wardrobe to sleep before the guest arrives.
Now that Jack is five though, things are about to change.
Over the course of a few days his mothers starts explaining to him that there is a world outside. That she had a life before Room and before Jack. That a lot of things they see on television are real. Young Jack can't understand any of this; his whole world is turned upside down and he doesn't know what to think or believe. 
And it's get worse when Ma comes up with a plan for Jack to escape and get help to rescue her. It's a huge thing for a five year old to have to do, and a very scary and confusing introduction to the world for Jack.
But leaving the world of Room for the world outside comes with a whole set of problems for both Jack and Ma. It is going to take all their courage and determination to overcome those problems and make sense of the world outside Room.
This was an amazing book. I'm not sure how a book can be this harrowing and this beautiful at the same time. How it is possible to want to smile and cry at the same time. I don't understand how a story with such a depressing core can be this uplifting. I just know that it was all those things.
This story is told by Jack, in his words. He has a very big vocabulary for a five year old, however, it is also all his own since he was raised in isolation. This makes the story heartbreaking at times. He will describe things that are normal or even good to him, while the reader knows that was he is actually describing is wrong and disturbing.
This book will stay with me for a long time. It has thrown up questions that will take some time answering. This was a great read.

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