A shipment arrived from Baker and Taylor, and there were several books we'd been waiting for. It's irksome when the beginning of a UK series is published in the US, students get hooked, and then they cut us off!
Whytock's Angel: Loving, loathing and Luscious Lunches is the 4th book in the series, and apparently the last one that even Baker and Taylor will send me. Angel, feeling fab from her recent trip to Italy, starts feeling less fab when a girl in her school, Scarlett, keeps undermining her at every chance she gets. She calls her fat, tries to steal her friends, and doesn't help when it turns out that her brother Rhett fancies Angel. Combine this with Angel's chance to meet Jamie Oliver, a celebrity chef, and you have a fun book about embracing body image, dealing with difficult people, and delicious food. (Recipes included.)
Cathy Cassidy's Lucky Star is a sequel to Dizzy in the way that Small Steps is the sequel to Holes. Mouse, on his way home from seeing his parole officer, runs into Cat when she accidentally hits a small dog with her bicycle. The two take the dog to the vet and become friends. Mouse lives in a difficult world-- his mother, who formerly abused drugs and had trouble raising him, now helps others get off drugs at Phoenix house, which is burned down by a dealer who lives in the housing estate where Mouse lives. Lucky, the dog, turns out to be owned by this same man, so there are lots of tense moments. Dizzy does turn up, but it is the depiction of Mouse's rough life that will sell students on this book. Cassidy's books, which depict struggling children, are very popular.
While I'm not a huge science fiction fan, I can understand the appeal of James Patterson's books for young adults. In The Dangerous Days of Daniel X, the chapters are all about two pages long, and this does make a big difference! Daniel's parents, who are alien hunters, are killed by a giant
alien/monster/mantis called The Prayer. It falls to him, then, to follow The List, hunt down the most wanted aliens, and save the world. There were some parts that were confusing, especially when Daniel imagines his family is real, but that's not what the book is about. It's about a wonderfull snarky tone, action and adventure, and a fifteen year old wandering about the country fighting aliens.
Now the guilt. I spend a lot of time looking at book reviews, book lists, blogs, author sites and book descriptions during my work day. My job gets done-- I am here for ten hours, spend another three or so at home reading, and never tell a student I'm too busy to help. The books get checked inand shelved, I call parents about overdues, help teachers with projects, have three minute lessons for 20 SSR classes every week, and the library is neat and clean, but I spend a lot of time looking for books.
Somehow, looking for books doesn't feel like I am working! Do other librarians spend a lot of time looking for books, and do you feel guilty about it?