New Perma-Bound order came in, with titles I had not been able to read before purchasing. Luckily, they were all great, especially the Papercutz Hardy Boys books by Scott Lobdell. I only bought two but would love to have the entire series. While the illustrations make me think of Speed Racer (which is just my old lady reaction to ALL manga, Mr. Rendon!), the stories in both The Ocean of Osyria and The Identity Theft were beefy enough that students could use these for the 8th grade mystery unit. Fast paced and visually appealing, of course, but also sly humor and quite well-written. Adventure, plot, family drama-- really, they had it all! I will also definitely have to buy some of the Nancy Drew ones, since they are written by the amazingly awesome Stefan Petrucha!
A little disappointed in Jarrett J. Krosoczka's Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians, but only because the librarian's were evil, and I really wanted them to be the evil fighting force of good. Sly humor-- loved how one of them says "I prefer media specialist" and they were at least being evil by trying to intercept a shipment of video games. I will definitely buy this series-- how could I not? Lunch Lady has a lot of cool gadgets and student sidekicks who save the day.
Fiona MacDonald's Graphic Classic version of The Odyssey was very well researched and will be great for handing to kids who like the story but don't want to slog through something long. The historical notes at the back are great. This series is published by Barron's, so there is a lot crammed on each page, although each adventure is contained in a two page spread. If there are more of these on books the students study, I would definitely get more of them.
I had classes in working on letters to authors for a class yesterday, and one student needed help finding contact info for Max Brooks. He showed his book-- The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead-- and graciously allowed me to borrow it. I had asked "Is this middle school appropriate?" and his eyes lit up and said "Oh, yeah!" Then I said "Let me rephrase that-- how many irate parents would I have calling me if I had this in the library?" "Oh. Overprotective and overreactive ones? A lot." Admittedly, I skimmed this one ( I'd Dewey it as 001 and not 818), but it was an absolute hoot. Not really for the reluctant reader, it is dense with detailed information about fighting zombies. I especially like the "recorded attacks" section, and am so glad to know that a good mode of transport in case of attack is a bicycle, and a chain saw doesn't have that much of an advantage over easier-to-use weapons. As long as I don't let the kevlar make me foolhardy, I'll be good. A definite buy for a public library, but the amount of information on weapons makes it iffy for school. Besides, like Judy Blume's Forever, it's not something that is fun if a librarian hands it to you!
I did remember to bring in the stretchy book covers for the boys with pink books, but if they start wearing the covers on their heads, I will have to take them away.