Lynch, Chris. Dead in the Water (World War II #2)
30 September 2014, Scholastic
E ARC from Netgalley.com
Theo and Hank both want to join the Navy at the very beginning of WWII, but there father is afraid of losing both boys, so Theo heads of to the Army, but in the air division. Hank ends up on an aircraft character in the Pacific, where he is an "airedale", helping planes get off the ship. He is a huge fan of baseball and has even brought mitts and a ball with him, and is always looking for someone to toss the ball around, even when the ship is being attacked (in between attacks, of course!). He has a fellow ball lover in Bradford, who played in the Negro Leagues. On board the ship, the other sailors don't have problems with race, but whenever the crew docks, Bradford finds that he isn't welcomed in restaurants or on beaches, and starts to feel (with the support of his crew mates) that if he is fighting for his country, he should have the same rights as everyone else. The ship sees lots of action, visits the site of Pearl Harbor, and Hank begins to realize that war is a horrible thing.
Strengths: Lynch's WWII and Vietnam books are big circulators among my boys who are interested in war, and their are lots of good details. I hope this shows up in the book fair; it will sell out!
Weaknesses: I adored The Right Fight, but this book got off to a slow start and then had too much baseball when what I wanted was descriptions of what it was like to live on a ship, and more information about the Pacific theater. Will this matter to my readers? No. But it was odd to have expectations for a book and have them not be met. Maybe there are so many WWII books out there that I am looking for specific different topics!
Random Library Blathering:
An eighth grade girl came in yesterday, pulled me aside, and said in a whisper "Is it o.k. if I read THESE books?" and showed me the first two SaraNormal books. I personally was addicted to the books, and told her as much. I also told her that 8th grade is a great time to read a lot of middle school books, because she'll be busy in high school reading To Kill a Mockingbird and things like that. She was so happy that she went back to the shelves to get the third book, and was greatly disappointed that it wasn't there. Somehow, this was the best moment of my day.
After talking about library catalogs, our 65 MackinVia books and the Ohio E Book Project all week, I only had two students interested in our own digital titles and two interested in the public library ones. One girl was very excited about getting audio books, but in general, my students don't like e books. There are a few who read Watt Pad books on their iPhones, but they are definitely the exception.
The number of students who come into the library and have absolutely NO CLUE what to read is absolutely astonishing. I cannot remember my middle school librarian or the public librarians ever recommending a book to me-- I just picked things off the shelf. Conversely, my avid readers only want the newest books and keep me up to date on new series. Most of the books I read were from the 1950s and 60s, and I don't remember there being any new books in my middle school library. And I worked there. My friend Lori and I often manned the circulation desk. The library assistant, Mrs. Greer, was always out there with us, but I don't know that the librarian ever left the work room!