Thursday, May 19, 2011

Inner City Guys on Guy Friday

Korman, Susan. Bad Deal.

Fish doesn't like that his ADHD medication keeps him up at night, and he isn't overly concerned about his homework, since going to college seems like a waste of time to him. Since money has been tight since his father died, he agrees to sell some of his medicine to other students. Things become complicated when he runs out of medicine and contacts a shady doctor, but a girl at his school dies before he can purchase anything from the man, and Fish is scared off. He is interviewed by the police in connection with the case because his name has come up, but he denies everything. After a while, however, he is worried, and his mother accompanies him to the police station to come clean.

Strengths: This is a high interest, low level book put out by Lerner in their Surviving Southside series. Since many of my reluctant readers are themselves on ADHD medicine, and this gives a detailed description of how Fish is affected by the medication, I think this will be very popular. I will probably buy the whole series in the fall if I have the money.

Weaknesses: A little preachy, but I'll take that over rampant vulgarity any day!

I have also been thinking about Walter Dean Myers, who does a lot of popular urban titles. It must be very interesting to live inside his head. Game, The Autobiography of My Dead Brother, Bad Boy, and his war books are all constantly checked out. However, there are some titles that just make me shake my head. I didn't care at all for Cruisers, and the new Carmen is something I can't see any middle school student wanting to read (an urban retelling of the opera, complete with music). Still, Myers is definitely a writer who must constantly have some book idea percolating through his brain. I just will read all of his books before I buy them, because his core audience at my school really likes things like Monster, Slam and The Beast, but not so much for some of his other titles.

And here is a technological first for me-- I posted this from my laptop, after I used it to download some titles from Net Galley and The Ohio Ebook Project to my Nook. I'm not thrilled about any of this technology, but am trying to remain relevant. I also loaned a sample copy of The Throne of Fire to Picky Reader on her (grandparent provided!!!) iPod Touch. That seems to be the device of choice for middle school students, so I should figure out how to fix them up with books for it.


Mrs. F-B's Books Blog said...

Did you put a text or audio copy of the book on the iPod? My nephew is starting to like reading b/c he can listen on his iPod and read along. this year for the first time he passed his state reading test - and he's in 5th grade.

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