Toilet paper and Yiddish references, oy vey
Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It has been a while since I’ve written a post about the books my kids and I read together. I am behind, but, then, that’s what toilet paper is for.
I got Donna Gephart’s Death by Toilet Paper at the Scholastic Book Fair at my son’s school. It seemed funny from the title, and I need to have a reserve of books available since we are still reading most nights of the week before bedtime.
So there it was on the shelf, ignored for a while, but I wanted something light and decided to go for it. I’m really glad I did. We all are.
Indeed, the book is funny, at times, but it’s not a funny book. There are stirring descriptions of a mother and son, Benjamin, rebuilding life due to the loss of dad. The financial struggles are serious. The sadness is serious, and the troubles get even worse when grandpa moves in, because he has some issues with his memory.
Benjamin’s friend is into movie makeup, and that part of the story works. It has to do with a costume contest, and contests in general are featured — but I don’t want to spoil too much of the book.
I will point out that the Epstein family is Jewish and the book is colored with Yiddish expressions. It’s certainly not religious, just a bit of cultural Judaism. This makes it a bit more fun to read out loud, of course.
Overall, the book was a hit (not a home run).