Monday, November 29, 2010

Oh, and I was supposed to read, too?

Well, I did read, just not much in the way of young adult books. Guess I needed a break from reading 2-3 science fiction or fantasy books a day. Also, I have an exteme dislike of getting on the computer at home!

Maberry, Jonathan. Rot and Ruin.
Nothing says "holiday" like a zombie apocalypse! Benny is living with his much older brother, Tom, because on First Night both of his parents were turned into zombies. No one knows exactly why, but lots of people were turned, and they bit people who then were also turned into zombies. Some 14 years later, society is operating in a very limited way. Benny must find a job in order to keep getting food rations, and tries several things before deciding to go into the zombie hunting business with his brother. At first he is disappointed because his brother kills zombies quietly and humanely, at the request of families who seek closure. He then starts to understand, and gets drawn into the convoluted world of fighting zombies. When his best friend is kidnapped by evil zombie hunteres, he uses his new skills to save her.

Strengths: Middle schoolers love zombies. The cover is great, and the story was interesting.
Weaknesses: At 458 pages, this is going to be too long for most of the students interested in zombies. While I liked the philosophical bent the book had, most students are going to want a book with more action. For this reason, this may be more of a high school book.

Cadbury, Deborah. Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers.

What do I check out when I actually go to the public library? Nonfiction about cultural phenomena. My students would NEVER read this, since it has very few illustrations and quite a lot of business discussion. I found it very interesting. Cadbury was founded as a Quaker business that wanted to do good as well as make money. The family, in the same way as Milton Hershey, dedicated a lot of time and money to building facilities for their workers and trying to improve the lives of those living in poverty. The business prospered, went into many, many markets, and was in family control until less than a year ago, when it was taken over by Kraft. I feel marginally better knowing that Kraft doesn't seem to be owned by Philip Morris (now Altria) anymore, but it's still sad that family owned businesses are no longer able to survive in the current economy. Of course, now I really want a box of Cadbury Fingers (available at the dollar store in Ireland; $3.00 for a much smaller packet here!) and to visit Bournville Village.

Back to work reading this week!


Mrs. FB said...

"Nothing says "holiday" like a zombie apocalypse!" A classic line :-) I really like this summary/strengths/weaknesses format you've been using. I think I might steal it, as it seems a lot easier than what I do and you can be quicker.

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