Monday, May 18, 2009

Odd weekend of reading

Nancy Hope Wilson's Flapjack Waltzes (1998) is out of print, and the copy from my library has never been checked out. This is too bad, because it is a touching story of one family's experience dealing with the death of a teenaged boy in an auto accident. Told alternately between the events leading up to his death and a two years after its occurence, it deals especially with the effect on his younger sister. Natalie starts to heal when she meets an elderly neighbor who survived the Holocaust and also has some survivor's guilt. I'll put this one in the new books pile come September, and hope that it will get checked out. This is one of the reasons why I am glad I am working my way through the entire collection.

Picked up a copy of Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie at the thrift store and bought it because my two younger children will no doubt need it for high school English. I was surprised-- given all the buzz, I was expecting something life changing. I'm sure that Morrie and Mitch were deeply affected by the events chronicled, but the book felt a bit stale and trite to me. Why is it always successful people with significant material wealth and worldly success who have these epiphanies that everything they have tried to accomplish is empty? At least the title is newer than the other things they assign for freshman English. I still maintain that there have been other books written since To Kill a Mockingbird.

I can see teachers assigning The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet by Reif Larsen, because it has that quirky air of Significant Fiction due to side notes, diagrams, and Life Lessons. Admittedly, I did not get very far-- this is Literature, by someone who majored in it in college, and as such has limited appeal. Middle schoolers don't really want books that start out with people drawing maps. Yes, clearly I was ruined as a small child by all of the Little Golden Books that my mother let me read.
Did get all 12,000 books moved around, even though I had seven research classes on Friday. Have work orders in to take down bookshelves, redo wiring, and move the circ desk. Am trying not to think about inventory or retrieving all the overheads and televisions from classrooms!


Jennifer said...

Flapjacks sounds similar to Home From Far by Jean Little - older, but still a good story of dealing with a sibling's death.

As someone who majored in Literature in undergrad...I so agree. I skillfully manipulated my classes so that I never wrote a lengthy paper on anything but children's literature and I managed to avoid all contemporary literature!

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