Exit Through the Gift Shop by Maryam Master is Ana’s story. Ana is a 12.5 year old girl with cancer. She writes the book as an English assignment about the last year of her life.
Can I say this is a fun book?! Cancer and dying are tough topics but at no time does Maryam Master try to wring the emotion out of her readers.
We follow Ana through what she is told will be her final year of life as she contemplates her own mortality, succumbs to cancer treatments, takes a last hope trip to the USA and faces a ruthless bully.
Ana is very down to earth and philosophical. She has accepted her fate and is ready to make the most of the time that she has. She has quite a sense of humour and her story is written in a dramatic (comedic) way with lots of big bold words and sketches on the pages.
There is a best friend, Al, by her side to support and cheer her up. He is also a little bit silly and not worried about what people think of him. And what’s a teen novel without a nemesis?! Here, Alyssa takes the cake with relentless bullying which Ana expects to stop when Alyssa finds out she has cancer. Ana has already graciously decided to forgive her. Alyssa would have to be the embodiment of bullying.
Maryam Master has written an entertaining novel that will be ideal as a school study novel with the inclusion of metaphors, alliteration and exaggeration. Alyssa, the bully, would be a good case study and excellent discussion point.
Recommended for ages 12 – 16 years
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Exit Through the Gift Shop by Maryam Master. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
Author: Maryam Master
Pan Macmillan Australia