Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sutcliffe, Sunrise, and Silliness

Rosemary Sutcliffe's The Mark of the Horse Lord (1965)has only left the shelf eight times in 30 years here. The last student to read it was a huge fan of historical fiction and couldn't get through it. Liz B. at A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy read it recently and enjoyed it, but I'm afraid that I found it wordy and dull. The same was true of Blood Feud(1976). The adjective that came to mind was "languorous" which is not what students are wanting when it comes to books that are supposed to be about adventure and battles. Beautifully written, indeed, but I just keep chanting to myself "I do not run an archive."

Walter Dean Myers' Sunrise Over Fallujah wasn't very interesting to me, but students seem to be liking it. It follows Robin, a soldier who has entered the army instead of going to college because he was so upset about 9/11. Lots of detail about daily life in Iraq, from descriptions of the camps to interactions with the local people. There hasn't been much else written about Operation Iraqi Freedom, so I did buy two copies. Myers has clearly done his research-- his children have both served in the Middle East.

Had to pick up Mark Reibstein's Wabi Sabi. A beautifully collaged picture book, this is the story about a Japanese cat named Wabi Sabi who asked what his name means. Everyone says "That's hard to explain." The book examines different aspects of this and explains them with haiku. This would be good for a multicultural collection.

Finally, a treat for middle school librarians. Don't think that middle school students would enjoy Sloane Tanen's Appetite for Detention, but the teachers here found it hilarious, if very politically incorrect. See if your local public library has a copy you can borrow!


wlomano said...

Walter Dean Myers' Sunrise Over Fallujah sounds slightly like a book I listened to (and hubby read after I suggested it) a few months back, A soldier's promise : the heroic true story of an American soldier and an Iraqi boy / by Daniel Hendrex. It's definitely not a middle school book (language), but it was very interesting.

Picked up Inkdeath (Funke) today and elder son picked up "Saga", sequel to "Epic", which he read over the summer (twice).

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