Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Random Books

Computer at home still in the shop; no shelves in the library yet; school starts in a week. Whee! Excitement everywhere we look. Also exciting-- my budget is being "temporarily" cut 75%. Since most budget cuts tend to be permanent, I'm going to become extremely discerning.

Here's a brief take on a big pile of books I've been meaning to get to.

Holt, Kimberly Willis. The Water Seeker.
Historical books will be the first thing I stop buying. This book, set in 1859, didn't have anything to add to the curriculum.

Moriarty, Jaclyn. The Ghosts of Ashbury High.
This looked intriguing, but I found it oddly written and hard to follow. Could just be my problems with Australian books.

Kent, Rose. Rocky Road.
A little too quirky, a little too much dysfunctional mother, not as much happening. Any books with candy or ice cream on the cover should be happy.

Vail, Rachel. Brilliant.
The third book after Lucky and Gorgeous returned to reality (Gorgeous had a possessed cell phone that confused me); I liked this but it may be too high school.

Gherman, Beverly. Sparky: The Life and Art of Charles Schulz.
This was a very good biography of the author of the Peanuts comic strip. I will buy this for my biography section because is was well illustrated and hit the high points of his life and career. My only dislike was the white print on many colored pages. Kids will like that.

Cohagen, Carolyn. The Lost Children.
Waaaay too quirky for me, although Picky Reader wants to look at it. First sentence: "Josephine owned 387 pairs of gloves. She had them in wool and cotton and silk. She had them in plaid and paisley and print. She even had a pair that had been made from the fur of an albino sloth." Okay. It just got stranger. Maybe for 4th or 5th graders-- it has a Snicketesque ring.

Mitchard, Jacquelyn. The Midnight Twins, Watch for Me By Moonlight.
This usually adult author didn't seem to change her tone for YA. The books have a lot of detail that didn't advance the story. Maybe high school.

Mucci, Tim and Caldwell, Ben. Homer's Odyssey.
This Sterling Publications graphic novel adaptation is okay. Since many of my students who love graphic novels have problems with print, I would have liked to see some cleaner lines and easier to read font, but the treatment is good. Migh buy.

O'Connor, George. Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess.
Liked this one better. Easier to follow, still good treatment of the mythology, nice hard cover that will hold up better. The first book in this series is on Zeus.

Cushman, Karen. Alchemy and Meggy Swann.
Sometimes need books on this historical period, but the author's other books were more intriguing. May pass.

Jones, Marcia. Ratfink.
This was definitely for younger students. Logan is entering 5th grade, and many of his concerns are not reflective of 6th graders in middle school. Jones' coauthored The Bailey School Kids Books, which are oddly popular at my school, so I was disappointed.

Lipsyte, Robert. Center Field.
Read some negative reviews of this one, but I liked it. It was a bit more high school, but I admired the main character and if I hadn't bought a ton of baseball books in the last few years, I would have gotten it immediately. Love Lipsyte.

Gleitzman, Morris. Once.
This was an oddly intriguing Holocaust book, and I might consider buying it even though it does not end up in the camps, which my 8th grade teachers usually require. It follows an young boy as he manages to stay out of the camps.

Sylvester, Kevin. Neil Flambe and The Marco Polo Murders.
This looked intriguing, but it was goofy in an elementary way rather than a middle school way, and I think I will pass.


Jennifer said...

Oh the pain! I am clinging to the last bits of my budget, hoping they are not going to be snatched away from me. I am also congratulating myself on having spent most of my money in the first six months of the year. "oh, we have to cut? I'm sooooo sorry, I already spent it." Heh heh heh. Maybe add a little wishlist to your blog - your readers might be able to contribute a book or two...

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