Look's Alvin Ho: Allergic to Dead Bodies, Funerals and Other Fatal Circumstances was quite delightful, although too young for my own library. I enjoyed how the unlikely circumstances almost made sense, and was only slightly put out by Alvin's occasional misunderstanding of terms, such as the Odd Sea for the Odyssey.
Nikki and Deja's Election Madness by Karen English was also interesting, although I always have trouble with books that put a lot of emphasis on class presidential elections, since I don't know of anywhere these still occur. This looks like a nice series for younger readers, but the present tense narrative wasn't something I liked.
I thought that Chris Raschka's Seriously, Norman would be a good funny book for middle school boys, but it went a bit over on the quirky meter for me. I'd take a look at this one first; it might be one for your library.
Eames' The Dagger Quick was a great historical pirate romp, complete with intrigue and adventure. Eames did a very good job at keeping the dialogue and setting true to the period; the only slight anachronism was drawing a smiley face on a barrel. Would people have done that? Maybe, but wouldn't have used the term smiley face, perhaps. Spent most of yesterday reading this one and felt quite swashbuckling by the time I finished. Laundry? Why do I have to do that on the pirate ship?
Surly Teen Boy read Brian Falkner's The Project and was slightly disappointed, which pretty much summed up how I felt. It wasn't Brain Jack, which was so very good. Good, but without the technological component that made Brain Jack so fabulous.
Two problem/quirky novels that came across my desk were Lewis' Wild Wings, which failed to really capture my interest even though it was set in Scotland, and Schmatz' Bluefish, which I read all the way through even though I don't think any of my students would ask for this sad but ultimately triumphant tale of two troubled and disadvantaged students who count on each other to make it through tough times in their lives.
Kathryn Miller Haines' The Girl is Murder was pure fun for me. Iris' father has been injured in the bombing at Pearl Harbor, her mother has committed suicide, and things are generally grim as Iris has to adapt to a new public school where the students are much grittier than they were at her private school. Since her father's detective agency is not doing well because of his injury, she tries to help him out, especially when one of his cases concerns a boy from her new school who has gone missing. The mystery in this was a bit weak, but I reveled in the details of daily life during WWII; the clothing, the teen culture, the slang. Gave this one to Teen Daughter to read.
When I am doing my normal reading for school and blogging, I go through a lot of books that I don't review because they don't quite strike a chord with me. For the Cybils, I try to read the books completely and review every one, but that is rather hard. There are 145 books in my category, and I have read 109 of them, most of which I reviewed. I'm waiting on a few more reserves, but hope that some review copies start coming in, especially of some of the good looking Canadian titles.
I try to tell the children that it will be warmer if they take a nap. I may follow that advice as well!