Random Acts is the newest novel by Canadian author Valerie Sherrard. The title brings to mind that one has to step out of a normal routine or comfort zone and attempt a random act of kindness, and I was delighted that this topic would be the focus of a middle-grade narrative!
However the reader will quickly learn that ‘random acts’ takes on an entirely different meaning within the parameters of this story. Teenagers, Zoey, Jenna and ‘Bean’ have been BFF’s for a number of years. It is during an afternoon of overindulgence in a ‘pizza-feast’ that the simple idea of preforming random acts of kindness takes hold, but then evolves into a story filled with slap-stick humour and misdeeds, reminiscent of skits from the “I love Lucy” show!
Ms Sherrard has eloquently and completely captured the angst and self appreciating humour often demonstrated by teens with the voice of Zoey. As the story progresses, the relationships of these three friends is in a constant state of flux, ever changing and growing in self awareness. Told primarily from Zoey’s perspective, her interaction with her parents plays a pivotal part in the telling of this narrative.
This delightfully well written tale will definitely have the reader smiling, laughing out loud and groaning in empathy with all the ‘random acts’ performed by our three amusing artless teens!
Highly recommended for grade 6,7,8 !!!
Genre: Realistic fiction; Humour
Themes: Pay it forward; Friendship; Family; Relationships; Teenagers