Zen and the Art of Faking It


Title: Zen and the Art of Faking It

Author: Jordan Sonnenblick

Summary: Because his dad was a con man (now in prison), San has spent his life moving from school to school. Each time he transfers, San finds a way to blend in: In one school he’s a skater, in another a scholar, and so on. But when he moves to Pennsylvania, he adopts his most curious persona yet. Because he has already learned about Buddhism in social studies at his old school, he knows enough to convince his classmates he might be a Zen master himself. Now, instead of blending in, San stands out – and he likes it. With this new identity, he can fight for the little guys, impress his teachers, and maybe even win the heart of the guitar-playing girl of his dreams, Woody.

But it isn’t easy being Zen – not only does San have to study up with supersized library books on the subject, he has to embody principles like selflessness and tolerance all the time – which is next to impossible when you’re in middle school and you’re still really angry at your dad. How would Woody and the rest of the school react if they find out that San is just faking it?

Who will like this book?: Readers who like a big dose of humor in their stories. Anyone who ever ‘faked it’ a little to win hearts or make friends.

If you like this, try this: Stuck in the Middle, a great graphic novel by Ariel Schrag. Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian