We're still having fun with Boys Read Pink; so many of my books with actual pink covers have been checked out that we've had to broaden it to "girls on the cover"! Here are a couple.
Snyder, Laurel. Penny Dreadful.
Penelope is bored with her life in a mansion in the city, although she realizes she is lucky. When her father decides to quit his job in investments and write a book, the household dissolves in chaos. They run out of money, her father spends all of his time wandering around muttering to himself, and her mother is worried. Then a telegram comes (and the rarity of this event is described; I didn't even think you could send them anymore!) and the family is off to a small town in Tennessee where they have inherited a house. The problem? The tenants have to stay rent free, and there is money owed on a mortgage. While this is a problem, Penelope (who changes her name to Penny) gets a chance to explore her community, make new friends, and generally have a glorious time hanging out. And has Penny been manipulating her life with magic? Will everything work out?
Strengths: Like Any Which Wall, this is a great book for portraying a leisurely summer of running about and just being a kid. I adored it; it reminds me strongly of Elizabeth Enright's books, and in fact, Penny reads many classic works of children's literature to pass the time before she gets to Tennessee.
Weaknesses: A little slow. Since Penelope is only ten, it might be perfect for elementary, but the portrayal of friendships especially struck me as a little younger. By middle school, we have some serious angst going on!
Lockhart, E. Real Live Boyfriends.
This is the fourth book in the Ruby Oliver series. I keep reading these because I ADORED The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks, but I never like Ruby Oliver. This must just be a high school book; all of our high schools have these, but none of our middle schools do.
However, this was an excellent book to demonstrate why middle school boys might want to read girl books. It will help them attract the ladies, I tell them! Ruby gives many descriptions of what she wants in a boyfriend, and even passes along e-mails from her boyfriend and explains why they make her swoon. I had forgotten about Frankie, but that is a fabulous book to give to boys!
Also turned all the pages on Erin Hunter's Midnight, Moonrise and Dawn in the New Prophecy series. Nine down, twenty two more to go? (I have to check to see if I have all of them in my library. I may be missing a bunch.)