Sunday, December 20, 2009

Liar, Into the Wild

There has been such buzz about Justine Larbelestier's Liar that I was very excited when my daughter brought it home from her library. Surprised, however, when she adamently proclaimed it "AWFUL". Here's the problem-- I can't really tell you much about the book without ruining the suspense. Michah lies about everything. The first day in a new school, she claimed to be a boy until her peers found her out. She lies within the framework of the book, as well, which makes things somewhat difficult to follow. We do know that a boy at her school, who is involved with her romantically even if he does not acknowledge her at school, has been brutally murdered, and Micah's lies cause difficult in finding out who killed him. This is not a middle school book due to the language and sexual situations, and without giving too much away, I wish I had know that this was really a werewolf book and not so much a mystery. Intriguing.

At the end of the day on Friday, no one had checked out Erin Hunter's Into the Wild, the first book in the Warriors series, so I brought it home. This involves talking animals, but has been so hugely possible that I have bought all the books. Have to say that I do not understand this book. Many reluctant readers like these, but it was basically feral cats running around killing mice and having fights. I also found the characters really, really confusing because there would be six characters discussed per page, and they all had very similar names. (Smokepaw, Dustpaw, Dewpaw, Tigerclaw, etc.)In this first installment, Rusty, a house cat (or kittypet, which is a good phrase), is tired of his soft life and runs away and meets members of the ThunderClan. Bluestar is the leader, and she is concerned about the lack of warriors, so takes Rusty on as a trainee, chaning his name to Firepaw. Firepaw takes pity on an older, injured cat (Yellowfang?) who is a healer from another clan, but when the clan wars start up again and the cat is accused of killing kits, ThunderClan is leery of her. The war is complicated, because it involves the leader of the ShadowClan being evil. At the end, things work out and Firepaw is glad he ran away. I'll be reading the rest of these this summer, which will be about as much fun as my death march through Brian Jacques. Again, students love these. I just don't see why.

For the next two weeks, remember that I am posting from home, where the internet is powered by hamsters. I don't even see an option for adding a cover shot. Or italicizing titles. Blah.


Ronni said...

Liar really made me mad. I don't like it at all.

Kathy Martin said...

"Death march through Brian Jacques". What a perfect phrase! I have told my students that I can't read everything and that I draw the line at dialect and talking animals. I'll buy them for my Media Centers because I know that they have an audience but I won't be reading them. I think that my position gives the kids permission to say that some books just don't fit their taste. Different strokes for different folks!

Readingjunky said...

I, too, heard nothing but praise for LIAR, and was disappointed. None of the students who have checked it out of my classroom have finished either.


Jennifer said...

I think you either really love Liar or really hate it - I just read the ending and decided it wasn't for me (-:)

Have to agree with you about the Warriors series, although I do rather like Brian Jacques (even if every book is basically the same). I have no idea how the kids keep all those characters and multiple series in their heads - but we own all the series, and the manga and they're consistently popular.

Just one of those weird things.

R.J. Anderson said...

I couldn't get into the REDWALL series at all, so I hear you. And yet, my young nephews absolutely loved them and couldn't get enough of them, so... I guess WARRIORS is probably hitting the same buttons with a lot of middle graders.

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

Why DO they all love Warriors so much??? I just don't get it.

Good to hear about Liar which I have checked out but will now return. Too many good books to waste my time. Now watch, it will win something next week and I'll have to read it.

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