Saturday, August 17, 2013

Books for Older Readers

Trash Can Days: A Middle School SagaSteinmiller, Teddy. Trash Can Days
20 August 2013, Disney-Hyperion
E ARC from

Jake has a very convenient best friend-- Danny. Danny's parents both work for Jake's, and the two get along well together. As they start junior high, however, they start to have separate interests. Danny has gotten much taller, and is more interested in hanging out with his cousins, some of whom have some connection to Hispanic gangs. Danny also takes a romantic interest in Jake's sister, Hannah, but the two keep their relationship secret. Chapters alternate between the point of views of those three as well as Dorothy Wu, a Manga obsessed girl who becomes Jake's girlfriend. All four try to navigate life at San Paulo Junior High.
Strengths: This is fairly funny and not a bad representation of what life is like... in high school. Either that, or students in California are WAY more mature than they are in Ohio.
Weaknesses: I was hoping that this would be a funny book for boys, but since there are chapters from Dorothy and Hannah's point of view, this might be a bit of a stretch, especially since Hannah is really interested in all of the gossip. I kept thinking that something inappropriate would come up, and for a long time it didn't. Then, there was the Health Class Question Wall, and that was all I needed. I'm not handing a student a book with stupid penis references.

That was my objection-- the more mature material. Pink Me has more to say about why she didn't like the book, so I feel a little more justified in not finishing it. Books on Bellevue, however, think that "This book would be an asset on every middle school library shelf."

Confessions of a HaterCrane, Caprice. Confessions of a Hater.
27 August 2013, Feiwel and Friends. 
E ARC from

I admit to thinking the cover of this was great, and a lot of girls do want books about high school. This, however, had too many mature situations, and just made me uncomfortable. Anya is a social outcast because she got pregnant and gave a child up for adoption, and there was a lot of mean girl stuff going on. Still, for high school, this is an intriguing look at how group dynamics work!

From "Hailey Harper has always felt invisible. Now her dad has a new job and the family is moving to Hollywood. Just what Hailey needs: starting a new high school.

As she's packing, Hailey finds a journal that belonged to her older sister, Noel, who is away at college. Called "How to Be a Hater," it's full of info Hailey can really use. Has Hailey found the Bible of Coolness? Will it help her reinvent herself at her new school? Will her crush notice her? Will she and the other Invisibles dethrone the popular mean girls? After all, they deserve it. Don't they?"


Melissa Fox said...

The thing that really killed Confessions for me (aside from the fact that it was, essentially, Mean Girls) was the blow job scene. Unnecessary.

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