Bucking the Sarge - Christopher Paul Curtis Audiobooks are amazing---but usually when I read them it is solely for the dramatic, the sad, the creepy moments that amazing narrators bring to life. I can rarely recall an audiobook narrator that had me smiling and continuously laughing from dialogue and situations the character would experience. It was an almost a feel good book---almost.

This book covers a multitude of middle school issues from coming of age to understanding an impoverish society. It presents two solid viewpoints: Luther and his mother. Luther and Luther's friends are experiencing growing pains---as they are essentially smart, but headed down a dead end road. I could spend an exorbitant amount of time doing a character analysis of Luther---but this is a review. Luther is well-rounded as he is a spot-on middle schooler with a smart mouth and no life experience to back it up. He struggles with doing the right thing---and doing what is easy, and tries to resist "Bucking the Sarge."

A classic case of two different moral approaches and ideas to life. This book could be paired perfectly with Cow Boy by Nate Crosby. You have to appreciate both of the boys life philosophy. I mean what are you suppose to do when your code of honor and justice coincide with your family's motto of "don't follow the sucker path."

The ending was fantastic---as it was an almost TV special wrap up (and after all the dramatics of YA I've read lately)---I appreciated.

I really wanted to give this book 5 stars. What held me back---is this book will be ten years old next year...and already it has a dated feel. I wish that he did not "name/brand" drop as much because I feel that this story could essentially be timeless. For example, he mentions "Busta Rhyme" which back in 2004, was popular---and a few other mentions of different icons---and you're like...yeah that's not "in" anymore.

One can argue that classic literature has a lot of outdated phrases, terms, and cultural doings that are not "in" anymore---and are of course dated...but I still am under the impression that it could have been more ambiguous reference without losing any meaning/message behind it.