Monday, July 19, 2010

Chasing Orion

Lasky, Kathryn. Chasing Orion.
Georgie is not having a good summer in 1952. Her family has just moved to a brand-new neighborhood where there are no trees and she has no friends, and she is not allowed to go to the pool, movies, or parties because of the polio epidemic. Because of this, she has become obsessed, in the way that 11-year-olds do, with polio news. When she finds out her next-door neighbor, an attractive teenaged girl, is in an iron lung due to complications with polio, she is interested in meeting Phyllis. Once she gets to know her, she is glad to have an older girl in which to confide, but Georgie soon finds that Phyllis is not as accepting of her circumstances as she leads everyone around her to believe. Phyllis is using her romance with Georgie's socially inept brother Emmett for her own purposes, and Georgie seems to be the only person to realize this.

There seem to be a few fiction books about polio around, like Iain Lawrence's The Giant Slayer, but I would prefer this one. Lasky's details of the time period are very rich, and her concentration on the feelings of Georgie make it accessible to children who might not be as interested in polio. I am curious now to read Peg Kehret's The Year I Got Polio (2006) and George Harrar's The Wonder Kid (2006), since a story from the point of view from a child who got polio would be interesting.

Picked up a number of things from the new book shelf at the library that weren't quite what I needed.
Richards, Jame. Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood. From varying points of view, this novel in verse tells the story of the 1889 flood. Maybe for older students, or for students who study this historical event.

Napoli, Donna Jo. The Wager. I adore Napoli's retelling of fairy tales, but this retelling of the story of Don Giovanni might be a hard sell. That said, Surly Teen Boy zipped through it.

Auseon, Andrew. Freak Magnet. STB did not care for this quirky story of a girl who attracts guys she thinks are freaks, and one of the freaks. Older due to introspective qualities. Much different from this author's Alienated.

Service, Pamela. Alien Encounter. This is book four in the series, and it was a good read, but a bit young. It's the computer drawn interior illustrations, I think-- it's hard to get those to circulate. For middle school, an excellent choice is Service's Stinker from Space-- it's so popular that I got a second copy.

Falls, Kat. Dark Life. STB read and seemed to like, but I couldn't get further than the first chapter. Just overdosed on futuristic dystopias, I think.

Baggott, Julianna. The EverBreath. Blame my inability to pick this one up on too many fantasy books. From the publisher "Twins Truman and Camille, spending winter break with their paternal grandmother, follow a secret passageway to the Breath World, where all creatures of magic dwell, to find the Ever Breath, a magical stone that maintains balance between worlds."

Have the fifth Fablehaven book now, and I almost hate to read it because I know it's the last one in the series!


Jennifer said...

Yeah, Service's Alien Agent series is really a beginning chapter book, or maybe a step up. They're going through our third and fourth graders like hotcakes, but I've only talked a few older kids into reading it.

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