Monday, November 24, 2008

Trip to the public library

The nice thing about getting out is that I choose books by their covers. That can also be a bad thing! I did pick up a lot of titles that didn't meet my library's needs.

The best thing I read was Peg Kehret's Stolen Children, even though it was vaguely reminiscent of a Beany Malone plot line. This author's Abduction! is very popular, so this story of a girl who is babysitting a young child who gets kidnapped will go over well. Not as much mystery as suspense and survival tale, this has all of the things that make Kehret popular--smooth and understandable writing, well-developed plot, and amusing characters.

The rest of the titles I read weren't quite what I needed. Konigsberg Out of the Pocket was a good football book, but centered mainly on the high school main character coming out as gay. Well done, but perhaps more of a high school title.

Wanted to like Dent's Diary of a Chav, but the cover gave it away as rather vulgar. Sue Limb's Zoe and Chloe on the Prowl was another rare English title that didn't catch my fancy.

Tharp's Spectacular Now had a great title and cover, but it was about a boy who spent most of his time either drunk or high. Nope. (Excellent review of this title at Oops...Wrong Cookie.)McNamee's Bonechiller didn't live up to the expectations I had after Acceleration, which is about the best mystery ever. Jones' Stolen Car just didn't grab me, and while Ferraiolo's The Big Splash amused me, I already have The Half Moon Investigators and the Chet Gecko Mysteries written in a film noir style. Just not big among the students.

Biggest disappointment was Phyllis Reynold Naylor's Cricket Man. From Follett: Kenny secretly calls himself "Cricket Man" after a summer of rescuing creatures from his family's pool, which gives him more self-confidence and an urge to be a hero, especially for his depressed sixteen-year-old neighbor, Jodie. An odd offering from an author I usually like.

From the school library stacks: Ruth White's Belle Prater's Boy, one of those award winners that hasn't been checked out since 2003. A decent enough story, about a boy who goes to live with quirky Southern relatives after his mother runs off. Life lessons are learned, secrets are revealed, and he comes to grips with his abandonment.

Bill Wallace's A Dog Called Kitty was a nice story about a boy who was afraid of dogs raising an abandoned puppy and coming to care for him, until the dog is killed rather randomly. Ferrets in the Bedroom, Lizards in the Fridge was much less sad-- girl has some trouble at school because her father keeps so many animals at home, but when he takes the animals to the lab, she realizes that she likes having them around, and they aren't really the cause of her problems. Many funny moments.

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