Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shooting Stars

Rushby, Allison. Shooting Stars.
Jo is 16, but she is a top notch paparazzi who uses her small size to sneak into places that olders photographers can't. It's lucrative work, and it keeps her busy while her father is frequently out of town and leaves her with a cousin, but it also makes it hard for her to do her school work. When she gets a really lucrative assignment, she thinks that the money might be her ticket out of this kind of work and into college. The problem? She has to go to a rehab center to gets pics of Ned Hartnett, a teen singing star. She's shot pictures of him before and knows that he has an overbearing father but is really nice to his fans. When she gets to know him a little better, she is conflicted about whether she should finish the assignment. What's more important-- college or really hot, cute boy?
Strengths: Did NOT see all of the twists in this coming, so it was really brilliant! Really sweet romance and tons of character development. The cover shows that Jo is half Japanese nicely. So happy that Baker and Taylor just shipped this one!
Weaknesses: The beginning didn't suck me in right away; the girls will be more interested in celebrity stalking than I am and will probably not have this problem.

Nelson, Kadir. Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans.
True to the title, this book starts with the Declaration of Independence and follows history through the African American experience up through Civil Rights and a mention of Barack Obama. This is in picture book format but has much more information that could easily be read aloud in a sitting. The history is presented from the point of view of a woman who has lived through the Civil Rights movement and had grandparents who were slaves, and her homey dialect includes the occasional "honey". Nelson's pictures are, as usual, very moving, and the overview is a nice one. I'm just not sure of the audience for this, since it looks like a picture book but is much more text heavy than that. This would probably be good to use in the elementary school to present various elements of history.

Still about 200 overdue books. Ran notices to be delivered in homeroom and will sing on the announcements to the tune of "Roll Out the Barrel". If only I could play accordian!

Roll Out the Overdues
It's almost Spring break--
why are there books overdue?
It makes my heart ache
when you don't have something new.

It's elementary--
here are the words you should heed:
everybody to the library
so you can read, read, read.

Okay, a little lame, but I'm working up a Disney Classics version for tomorrow, possibly with banjo accompaniment!

And no, sadly, I am not on iTunes. Or YouTube.

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