Saturday, January 21, 2023

#BookReview: Munmun by Jesse Andrews

Synopsis: In an alternate reality a lot like our world, every person’s physical size is directly proportional to their wealth. The poorest of the poor are the size of rats, and billionaires are the size of skyscrapers.
Warner and his sister Prayer are destitute—and tiny. Their size is not just demeaning, but dangerous: day and night they face mortal dangers that bigger richer people don’t ever have to think about, from being mauled by cats to their house getting stepped on. There are no cars or phones built small enough for them, or schools or hospitals, for that matter—there’s no point, when no one that little has any purchasing power, and when salaried doctors and teachers would never fit in buildings so small. Warner and Prayer know their only hope is to scale up, but how can two littlepoors survive in a world built against them?


Rating: 3 Stars
My Review: This one although a neat concept just didn't work for me.  I think this one is going to be one of those books that you either love it or you hate it.  For me I kept loosing interest in reading.  The writing felt really off to me and just didn't flow.  I do think that this would make one incredible movie though.  But overall it didn't keep my interest.  

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—"Being littlepoor is notsogood," observes Warner, the rat-size narrator of this thought-provoking dystopian epic in which humans' physical size mirrors the amount of "munmun" (money) in their bank accounts. The protagonist, along with his sister Prayer and their friend Usher, set out across the semi-recognizable landscape of southern California with a scheme to earn enough munmun to "scale up" to at least middlepoor. The journey doesn't go as planned, and in the fallout, the companions endure alternate-world versions of the myriad indignities and outright dangers that poor and homeless teens face in today's America: condescension, manipulation, mind-numbing jobs, indifferent justice and health care systems, graphically depicted sexual abuse, and the middlerich attitude that the poor should be grateful for any crumbs they get. It's not subtle in the way that Gulliver's Travels, M.T. Anderson's Feed, and Scott Westerfeld's "Uglies" series aren't subtle; it's social commentary with a bite. This book also includes action and humor to leaven the mix. It evokes Patrick Ness's "Chaos Walking" trilogy in its stream-of-consciousness narration, full of invented words and spellings that reflect Warner's littlepoor illiteracy. This world has no clear racial or ethnic groups, but skin colors that include rubyred and gray; a shared dream space where people communicate; and the "scaling" process that changes people's sizes in tandem with their financial fortunes. Readers will race to reach the conclusion and Warner's appropriately Pyrrhic victory. VERDICT Endlessly discussable and a first purchase for public and high school libraries.—Beth Wright Redford, Richmond Elementary School, VT


"Warner’s distinctive voice and language compel readers to pay attention to this detailed world . . . Brilliant, savage, hilarious, a riveting journey through a harsh world that mirrors our own." ― 

"In a brash and wildly inventive novel, Andrews (
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) effectively uses a gonzo alternate reality to frame urgent issues that include income inequality, rampant consumerism, and class disparity. Warner may be small, but his giant heart and brutally honest narration propel this intense, cuttingly funny novel." ― Publishers Weekly

"It’s not subtle in the way that Gulliver’s Travels, M.T. Anderson’s Feed, and Scott Westerfeld’s “Uglies” series aren’t subtle; it’s social commentary with a bite . . . Endlessly discussable and a first purchase for public and high school libraries." ― 
School Library Journal

". . . offers a unique, caustic, thought-provoking lampoon of America’s obsession with wealth." ― 

MunMun takes a swipe at today’s economic and political climate. It parodies the outlandish lifestyles of the supersized superrich contrasted with that of the destitute, tiny ultrapoor." ― VOYA Magazine

"Be prepared to have your reality turned upside down" ― 
School Library Connection

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