Pearl, Nancy. Book Crush. I didn’t find this particularly helpful, but people who aren’t well versed in YA literature might. This is divided into somewhat odd sections, and the narrative descriptions of books for children to young adults are vaguely amusing. I can see this being useful to someone who loved to read as a child, hasn’t read much lately, and suddenly needs to buy books for children. While most of the choices were good, there were some that seemed incomprehensible to me (Carry On, Mr. Bowditch? That’s one I probably should weed.). A good starting place for beginners.
Day, Karen. No Cream Puffs. Little did I know when I was growing up that baseball was such a hot bed of feminism. Had I known, I would have been way more into my Little League team. Set in 1980, this story follows Madison, age 12, who is a far better ball player than her brother and wants to play on the boys’ team. While the team coach, her mother, and her volleyball coach are all very supportive, some of the boys aren’t, and the national media attention makes her nervous. This was a fun read, especially the parts where Madison has a crush on a fellow player, but it didn’t ring quite true. However, girls who are 12 now are not going to know that there wouldn’t have been anyone named Madison in 1980, or boys wearing long shorts of any kind, or probably girls wearing mood rings, which strikes me as very 1975.
Waters, Daniel. Kiss of Life. This sequel to Generation Dead, which I enjoyed, seemed almost as ponderous as the zombies. Adam, who was killed because of Phoebe and has come back as “differently biotic” is trying to learn to talk and walk again. Phoebe, who feels guilty, really still likes Tommy, who is running the mysocalledundeath blog, but feels compelled to spend time with Adam and aid in his recuperation. She is part of the Undead Studies group, and helps with the local research center. There is also a group that is staging pranks and attributing them to the undead, in order to make zombies look bad. I just couldn’t quite follow where this one was going. There’s sure to be a sequel, and this has been popular, but it just didn’t have the appeal for me that the first volume did.
Prineas, Sarah. The Magic Thief: Lost. Like the first book, this was surprisingly enjoyable and well-written, but the overall plot isn’t doing much for me (I’m apparently having a cranky book day!) I liked Conn and Rowan, and their adventures are told in a breezy, adventure-filled way. Like Angie Sage’s Magyk series, this has the quasi-historical setting, evil encroaching on the kingdom, and poor orphan boy who has to vanquish it. The fun part was Conn trying to figure out how to get the magic to talk to him and blow things up; the quest and the evil wizard kings—well, that’s been done. Doesn’t matter to the students, though, who have really enjoyed the first book and will be glad to finally have the second.