I had planned to post on Guy Friday. However, this is a perfect book for World Wednesday because of this quote from page 10:
Hamid is Muslim-- half Palestinian, in fact. His parents and Ira's are part of an ethnic dinner group.
"No offense taken," said Hamid. "As long as you promise to give the finger to some random soldiers in Gaza, right?"
"Good as done," said Ira [who is Jewish]. They tapped fists and all was well. This is why I love America. No matter what our cultural upbringing, we can all be equally idiotic in peace and harmony." (Italics mine.)
Shusterman, Neal. Ship Out of Luck (Antsy Bonano #3)
13 June 2013, Dutton Juvenile
To celebrate his 80th birthday, Crawley invites the Bonanos to go on a cruise on the Plethora of the Deep, an enormous, luxurious cruise ship. His granddaughter, Lexie, is also going, and they will meet up with her parents. The Bonanos don't want to go at first, but then decide that the relaxation will be good for Antsy's father, who is still recovering from his heart attack. Antsy decides to bring Howie, since his brother Frankie can't go, and forges his birth certificate. Once on the ship, Lexie is upset that her parents aren't going to make it, and starts hanging out with a German boy. Antsy meets Tilde, a poor but exotic girl who is attempting to smuggle people illegally out of Cozumel. Antsy helps, because he is smitten by the girl, and also intrigued. Tilde thinks, because he has intimated it, that Antsy is gay, and is relieved that, unlike her other helpers, he doesn't put the moves on her. Things become more and more complicated as the week wears on. Crawley seems unhappy, and Antsy can't do much to help. Lexie is also unhappy. Tilde isn't who she appears to be. In the end, it is Antsy who is blamed for trying to smuggle illegal aliens into the country, but, since things tend to work out for Antsy in strange ways, this situation does as well.
Strengths: Wow. Shusterman has been my go to author for creepy stories like Red Rider's Hood, but this was wonderfully funny. Lots of Sonnenblick-worthy lines that made me laugh out loud, and the plot, while ridiculous, seems totally plausible when Antsy explained things! The characters all had very real and wrenching emotions, and the level of tolerance for differences in people was... amazing. If the entire world were as understanding as Antsy, there would be fewer problems. I don't remember being as struck by the first two books, but I enjoyed this one tremendously!
Weaknesses: The ending was a little too neat. Clever and surprising, but slightly too neat!
And we have a give away! Media Masters Publicity has offered a copy to one lucky person-- leave a comment about your favorite Shusterman book to enter to win!
And on a World Wednesday note, I had problems with Gregory Hughes' Unhooking the Moon. (1 October 2013, Quercus) Why? The repeated use of the term "white trash".
Now, aside from the fact that my grandparents lived in a trailer park and many of my relatives are in the demographic that might fit this epithet, this is a term that is offensive for multiple reasons. By assigning the qualifier "white" to "trash", the unsaid meaning is that all people who are not white are automatically trash, and that's all kinds of offensive. A good article on this appears on Popsugar.
This book is by a British author, so I was even more confused. Combine the use of this term with a weird insistence that every creepy adult is a "goddamn pedophile", and I just can't see having this book in my library. Any thoughts?