Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened
by Allie Brosh
This fun and sometimes poignant book of wacky comics and weird life lessons is taken from the author’s blog. I’d never seen the blog, but had the good fortune to read a review of the book. Once I’d read the book itself, I knew it would appeal to my students. Brosh is creative. And strangely fun. Her depiction of herself is something of a cross between a fish (wide mouth, large eyes and hair that appears to be a fin) and an insect (check out those thread-thin arms.)
Brosh tells stories of her childhood, one of the funniest of which is the first in the book—how she wrote a letter to her future self and buried in to be dug up at a later date. She covers being lost in the woods and also figuring out how to consume an entire birthday cake before anyone can stop her. Her adult antics include rescuing a dog that is beyond stupid and then getting another dog (the Helper Dog) to show the first dog how to behave. If you’ve ever had a dumb dog, you will be amused.
Brosh also tackles a few serious topics including emotional depression that appears without a known cause. She frankly discusses how she would like to see herself as a better person than she really is, something all of us are probably guilty of. Her honesty is refreshing as are her comic sensibilities.
High school housekeeping: I gave my first book talk on Hyperbole and a Half this week. The student who checked out the book said, “Oh, this book is so much like me.” Exactly as I’d thought! If you want to check out the blog, it’s here.