I had high hopes for Dick E. Burhans' Crunch! : a history of the great American potato chip but had my doubts when the only copy I could get was from the University of Cincinnati library. While I loved this book, it's far too technical for my students. It was, without a doubt, the most complete book about potato chips and potato chip manufacturing that will probably ever be written, and I annoyed my family by quoted random information from it all evening. Who knew that Ohio was such a hot bed of chip production? I wish that Burhans would write a condensed version of this for students, about a 100 pages, with more illustrations. I'd buy two copies, but somehow I don't think I can get many children interested in this much detail!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Angel Boy by Bernard Ashley
Another book that Diane Hofmeyr brought to my attention is Bernard Ashley's Angel Boy. Set in Ghana, it concerns Leonard, who has decided to run off for the day for a sightseeing trip because his father is traveling and his grandmother is boring. Ghana is not the place to run away if you are a small boy-- he is beset by older children who intend to sell him as a house boy on the Ivory Coast. He manages to escape, but has a lot of harrowing adventures before someone takes him seriously and helps him find his father. I have not come across many books set in Ghana, although I have had several students from there. Very interesting, and the students who like Iqbal or The Breadwinner will be intrigued.