Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Good news and bad news

The good news is that after five years of buying books, I finally feel that I can meet most needs. Horror is still a tough one, since horror fans will often not read anything else, but we have a balanced collection of mystery, sports, war, humor, etc., and enough pink books to keep even my three book a week readers in books.

The bad news is that my budget is low, low, low, and the remainder of my purchases this year must be very carefully picked and I won't be able to order until March. This is sad when I read something really good like Robert Muchamore. Perhaps I will break down and go to the trouble of a small order.

My reviews may henceforth become pickier!

Last night: Okay, Sister Souljah's The Colder Winter Ever is NOT for students. Didn't think so, but it came up when I was doing mulitcultural purchases (which have all gone out very well), so picked it up. Hmmm. Lots of drugs and sex, as well as bad grammer.

I did my best with Catherine Fisher's The Oracle Betrayed, since I was hoping it would be a new fantasy to add. Took me three nights, and even now I can't really tell you what happened. The girl is the Bearer of the God, which means she carries scorpions in a bowl and kills the archon with one so it will rain, but it only does a little, then they find a boy who will be the next archon, but people don't want him to be... not a lot of action, mainly politics concerning this god and the keepers. I'll see how my daughter likes it, but my biggest fantasy readers are boys, and I don't see this one being interesting enough.

So I thought that Derek Landy's Skulduggery Pleasant would be good, since it has a great cover, and the idea that a skeleton is helping this girl is a good one, but there was something unsuccessful about the writing. (Page 168: "The gap was gaping. It was a gaping gap.") I'll think about it.

Letters from the Corrugated Castle by Joan Blos was very reminiscent of her A Gathering of Days, which was introspective history. This means that children who don't want to read history are not going to be inveigled to read other historical fiction. On the bright side, I have a student really enjoying Deborah Hopkinson's Into the Firestorm.

And one more, which just goes to show how persnickety I was being-- I love most British children's literature, but Louise Rennison drives me mad. There's not much plot to Love is a Many Trousered Thing-- the appeal seems to lie in the fact that it's just a string of vulgarities in another language. Even the preface hints at this much "I wanted to call it Trouser Snakes-a-gogo! but the grown-ups said that was too rude." That is the appeal. Students ask for the order of the books and I have to say things like "Dancing in my nuddy-pants". *Sigh* Quite reasonable girls love these, and they are harmless, if maddening to adults.

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