Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Trueman's Hurricane

This slim volume will appeal to students looking for adventure or survival novels, and is a wonderful book because it describes life in a small Honduran village so well. Based on 1998's Hurricane Mitch, this book tells the story from the point of view of Jose, who is very happy with his life until the storm kills over half of the inhabitants of his town and leaves only three houses in the area standing. Trueman's (whose Stuck in Neutral is so popular I haven't read it, because it's always either out or lost!) experience living in Honduras is very evident, and his clear, brief prose will go over well with students.

Was disappointed in Hickey's Cassie Was Here because of the cover. The bike on the cover looks like one I had in 1974, and yet does not figure in the story at all. This would be better for younger students. Giff's Eleven might be as well (since she normally does such a good job writing for the 8-10 year old set), but I found it oddly repetitive and predictable. Hobbs' Go Big or Go Home also left be very conflicted-- the cover is great, the premise (two boys interested in extreme sports go off on bikes and find that a space rock fragment has maybe/sort of given one of the boys extra powers) sounds good, but nothing exciting happens until at least page 50. The readers who would pick this up like clear plot lines. I will test this on a couple of students but have my doubts. Usually love Hobbs.

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