Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tuesday books

I love it when people bring ME books to read! A teacher bought a copy of Vicki Myron's Dewey: The Small-Town LIbrary Cat Who Changed the World, and it was delightful but sad. Dewey was left in a book drop in the Spencer, Iowa public library on a cold night and was adopted by the librarians and the community. Myron sets the calming influences of the cat against the difficult times that rural Iowa was experiencing during the time, and brings in stories from her own challenging life. Dewey's subsequent fame and eventual demise is covered as well in a book that is sure to leave even non-cat lovers misty eyed. While this is a good read for librarians, I don't know that students will like the parts about Myron's divorce, health issues, and some of the descriptions of the struggles of rural communities.

Kimerberly K. Jones' The Genie Scheme was a thought-provoking book, but it started off on the wrong foot for me and I never quite recovered. The depiction of the thrift store that Janna and her mother go to seemed so wrong, as did Janna's attitude. (I buy everything my children and I wear at thrift stores and have never once run into a bag lady.) Also, if money is so tight, how did the mother get elected to the school board? Those campaigns are not inexpensive. Still, the book would be good for girls who are forced to read fantasies. Janna, having bought a hat for a bag lady, gets the services of a genie. She makes al sorts of outrageous demands, but starts to realize that everything she recieves is taken away from someone else. If Deriso's Do-Over, Bauer's Thwonk, and Meachem's A Mid-Semester's Night Dream and popular in your library, this might be one to order.

Eve Ibbotson's semi-autobiographical historical novel, The Dragonfly Pool, is a departure from her usual fantasy titles. Tally is sent from her home in London to a boarding school in 1939, in order to avoid being caught in a war zone. She enjoys Delderton, and while there becomes interested in Bergania, an Austrian type country where the prince is speaking out against Hitler. She manages to travel there with her classmates for a folk dancing festival, and gets involved in an adventure saving the prince. While the writing is beautiful and it is an interesting story, it's a confusing book. The cover and size (377 pages) makes me think it is a fantasy, and the fact that Bergania is not a real place didn't help. In the end, I have to go back to the fact that the only World War II books I circulate are books concerning the fighting or Jewish people escaping the Nazis. I have a number of books about the evacuation of children during this time, and they are very hard sells.


Bookworm said...

Dewey looks adorable, and the Genie Scheme sounds really good/cute!

Katterley said...

As for Genie Scheme, we have some school districts around here where there is so little interest in running, incumbants run unopposed. Maybe she lives in one of those districts...

Mrs. F-B's Books Blog said...

My neighbor has been telling me I MUST read Dewey.

Also, I put ARCS out. Don't tell. Actually, I've only ever gotten a few, but I got them from the authors who fully knew I was a librarian. I think they'd be surprised if I didn't put them out. I don't solicit them for the purpose of getting them free, but I'm happy to have them.

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