Hokey Pokey is the place where children live. It’s a wonderful world of snuggling, and cartoons, and playgrounds, and pretend wars, and bikes—beautiful bikes. For Jack, life is meaningless without his bike. So, when he wakes up one fateful day and it’s gone, he can’t rest until he has reclaimed it. To make matters even worse, his precious bike was not taken by just anyone—it was taken by a girl. It pains him even to think it, but as Jack attempts to steal his bike back from the girl, he begins to feels something for that girl that is definitely not animosity. The missing bike and Jack’s strange lack of hatred for this girl are not the only signs that something is wrong. In one day, Jack’s whole world is turning upside down, and he can sense that he is changing. He doesn’t know what it means, and all of Jack’s friends are determined to make it stop but Jack knows that he must let it happen. He needs to find out where it will lead him.
The entire story of Hokey Pokey is a metaphor for growing up, and the story is full of smaller metaphors that make the book a somewhat difficult (though rewarding) read. For instance, Jack tames a mustang in one chapter, and it isn’t immediately apparent that in the same moment he is also learning to ride a bike in the “real” world. I enjoyed this aspect of Hokey Pokey, but it could be frustrating for some readers.
Reviewed by Grace