Calvin by Martine Leavitt

23310675.jpg“I’ve figured out that there is a difference between the meaning of the word real and the meaning of the word true.”

Calvin is seventeen, and Calvin has just found out that he has schizophrenia. Calvin was born on the day that Bill Watterson’s last Calvin & Hobbes comic was published before he went into obscurity, which caused his grandfather to give a him a stuffed tiger named Hobbes. This is the only real connection that Calvin has with the comics- until one day he wakes up hearing the voice of his childhood stuffed animal talking to him. After having his first psychotic episode at school which leads to his diagnosis, Calvin comes up with a plan to cure his schizophrenia: he will walk across the now-frozen Lake Erie to where Watterson lives to convince him to make one more comic strip- one that shows Calvin as a teenager. A sane teenager. Calvin convinces himself that if he sees this comic strip that it will be true.

I don’t want to give any more of the story away. But Calvin’s journey is humorous, introspective, and above all-strange. Seeing inside the mind of a person who is experiencing schizophrenic hallucinations for the first time was interesting seeing as it isn’t a topic that often comes up in YA novels. Martine Leavitt broaches the topic with humor and ease and really left me contemplating reality and what is the difference between the meanings of the words real and true.

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