Munmun by Jesse Andrews is a YA science fiction novel that completely challenges main societal beliefs. It is also a satire and strongly allegorical. in this alternate reality, the amount of money you have is exact to your height, so that those who are nearly broke are as tiny as ants and those like Bill Gates, for example, would be as tall as the Eiffel Tower. Teen Warner and his sister Prayer are tired of worrying about being literally stepped on, eaten by a cat, and not having access to medical care. As Warner starts physically and economically scaling up, he faces significant moral dilemmas and must decide what is more important- his size, or his character.
The book clearly showcases the extreme societal unfairness that even just having a dollar can do to your life. I have never read a book so effective in describing the extreme challenges that being a lower-class citizen must face. Munmun is brutally honest about a major issue of corruptness in society that a desire for money causes. This heartbreaking story opens one’s mind to the burden on one’s character that having money can make. As teenagers start getting allowances and become fascinated with buying clothes, jewelry, makeup, and start teasing and judging those without, Munmun is a necessary eye-opener that has the potential to completely change one's perspectives. Munmun should be taught in schools.
While the siutation is rather depressing, the book definitely isn't! I adore the fact that this is a satire and is still lighthearted and even uplifting at many times. Warner is a boy to remember. Trapped in an impossible situation, he still tries to make the best of it and try to save his family. Warner struggles with rage and guilt. He ends up in terrible situations, and over the course of the novel he is forced to decide whether or not to be towering over others (physically and emotionally) or to stand by his moral conscience, and accept who he is. Warner makes some awful choices, but he has tremendous character growth and truly becomes a better person by the end. The hint of romance was also very sweet and heartbreaking.
I highly recommend you read this book! I do recommend this book for older YA readers due to some mature content.
Author: Jesse Andrews
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Rating: 5 Stars