Thursday, December 15, 2011

Guy Friday-- Playing With the Boys

No joke. Yesterday I had a group of boys who all checked out "pink" books because Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading suggested they should read about girls! The Greenwald title has been getting heavy circulation here!

Tigelaar, Liz. Playing with the Boys. (Pretty Tough #2)
Lucy, still recovering from the death of her mother, moves from Ohio to California with her father. Desperate to fit in and make friends, she tries out for the soccer team, but when she doesn't make it, the coach suggests that she try out for the football team as placekicker. She beats out everyone, including her new friend Benji, and is cautiously excited about it. She thinks the quarterback, Ryan, is cute, and is glad to be asked to parties by the cheerleaders. The down sides include having to lie to her father that she is a cheerleader, and putting up with the hazing from the boys, who are not at all happy to have a girl on the team. This is the sequel to Pretty Tough, which features Charlie, who befriends Lucy.
Strengths: Very much enjoyed these portraits of strong girls interested in sports. I thought the treatment was realistic and balanced. Sad that over 20 years after Dygard's Forward Pass, girls are still having trouble being on football teams. If we have great young women like Brianna Amat kicking winning goals AND being Homecoming queen, I think it's time that boys realize that girls can play football, too.
Weaknesses: The author is now apparently writing for the television show Once Upon a Time, so we might not see more by this author; Pretty Tough #3 and #4 are written by Keri Mikulski.

I've not been finding many good books for boys lately. *Sigh*. Warning about James Proimos' 12 things to do before you crash and burn : gratuitous f-bombs in many places. This is especially annoying, as Proimos' previous work is for much younger ages, and the book itself is a tiny little volume. It is not clever enough to sustain the obscenities.

Also checked out Patricia Miles' The Gods in Winter, hoping that there would be enough mythology in it for my readers in Riordan withdrawl, but the 1978 title has that odd, English style where I wondered if anything would ever happen. Just not going to work.

I had great fun with Frank Decaro's The Dead Celebrity Cookbook, but it would have been better if the descriptions of the actors included pictures of them, as well as the source of the recipes, which I imagine appeared in other cookbooks. Not appropriate or of interest for middle school students, but fun for me!

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