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This is a coming of age story, engaging themes concerning the need for an adolescent to separate from his parents and make decisions on his own and the simultaneous need to remain in someway connected to his family. Michael wants control of his life, but he also seeks approbation (approval) from his parents. He feels uncomfortable with his dependence on him and wants to strike out on his own, but he still needs their love and help. Connected to this desire for control is the need to explain yourself to your family: your desire to understand them and be understood by then. This coming-of-age story can give hope to young adult readers that they, like Michael, can gain control of their lives. The theme of loosening parental ties and striking out alone is a major concern to adolescents. Asher balances the difficulty of communication within families with the constant need of adolescents for emotional support. Michael does not want to hurt his parents by pursuing his own life. However, he feels like a human sponge, sucking in but not giving back, because he owes his parents for everything in his life. By getting his own job, he takes a step away from their plan for his life and a step toward his own independence. Still, he needs their approval. I would call it a drama. Follow the link below to a fuller discussion of theme in the story.
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