A middle-grade book by Rex Ogle, first published as a webcast serial over several weeks in spring 2020 and notable for being one of the first works of fiction set during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Aiden is a Los Angeles seventh-grader who lives with his mom, stepdad Mike, younger sister Sophia, little brother Jackson and eventually his dog Stormy. and a comic-book fan who finds himself living through...interesting times. Even though they can be boring.
It's available to read for free here.
This work features examples of:
- Coming-of-Age Story; It's clear that Aiden is significantly more mature by Memorial Day when the story ends than he was at the end of February when it started.
- Mixed Ancestry: Aiden's grandmother is a Mexican immigrant who the kids call Abuela; the concept of "passing" is discussed when she points out that with their light skin and Anglo names Aiden and his siblings have white privilege.
- Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation: We know Aiden's mom is a waitress and Mike drives for Uber and later Doordash on the side but we never learn his primary job.
- Punny Name: The title.
- Ripped from the Headlines; Ogle started the story with a loose idea where he wanted it to go and released it in serial form making changes to reflect new regulations and realities.
- Unintentional Period Piece: Inverted. As it's set at the start of a once-a-century event, Ogle isn't the least bit shy of filling it with 2020 cultural references with none of the usual attempts to keep the setting in The Present Day for as long as possible, down to the title character having the memetic common time-capsule name for a boy who was born in the late '00s. It's highly intentional and will become a period piece within a year as the covid vaccine is distributed.
- Write What You Know: Ogle grew up as a comic-book nerd in a working-class family in Los Angeles, so he made the main character...a comic-book nerd from a working-class family in Los Angeles.