Sunday, December 06, 2015
Ah, the fervent admiration my students feel for this series is such that many of them coerced their parents into buying copies, and one such lovely student cheerfully loaned me his. I've been dragging my feet on two book orders, so we might not have this in my library until January.
Delayed gratification: it's a skill students today need to learn!
Kinney, Jeff. Old School (Wimpy Kid #10)
November 3rd 2015 by Amulet Books
Copy provided by William S. Thank you!
Things are changing in Greg's life-- his grandfather can no longer afford his apartment, so moves into Greg's room. Greg has to sleep in his little brother's room... and his mother has instituted a "no pants after dinner" rule for young Manny to encourage him to use the potty. (Am I the only one who think that Manny has some horrible birth defect that isn't mentioned? Maybe Mom drank?) The family pet pig gets more attention than Greg, and now Mom is trying to get the entire town to support a "no gadgets" week. Greg gets involved in a series of bad ideas that starts with selling lemonade and ends with joyriding with his grandfather, who has lost his license. Greg had tried to get out of the week long nature camp that his school was attending, but his mother sends him. Complications ensue, camp legends are debunked, and Greg once again survives so he can come back for another book.
Strengths: These are getting a bit better. This started out to be very interesting, and I had great hopes for learning what it was like to live with a grandfather who disapproved of the Heffley's parenting skills, and the no technology campaign seemed new, too. (Well, there is Greenwald's marvelous Katie Friedman Gives Up Texting, but not much else.)
Weaknesses: This went downhill after the lemonade, and the camp idea was not really very fresh.
What I really think: Last year, I had to hide a pile of these in the back room because otherwise I would have taken them out to the parking lot and SET FIRE TO THEM. These are fine in moderation, but I have some students who will not read anything else, and that drives me a little batty.
Mann, Jennifer Ann. Sunny Sweet Can So Get Lost (#3)
February 10th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Masha is all ready to go to a dude ranch in Montana while her mother is in Russia helping her babuska recuperate from hip surgery and her father has to go to Thailand for work. Instead, after she and younger sister Sunny are left at the airport with their chaperone, she finds out that Sunny has arranged for them to go to a math and science camp in Maine! (Their mother gave Sunny the credit card to make the flight arrangements, ans she seized the opportunity.) Masha, still smelling strongly of vinegar after Sunny's last experiment went awry, is not happy, and she complains to Dr. Singh at the Newton Camp of Mathematics right away. Of course, there is nothing to be done, and the girls have three weeks to enjoy camp before their father retrieves them. Sunny loves all of the activities, and even Masha comes to appreciate the bucolic setting, the friends she makes, and even some of the activities, like softball! When their father picks them up, they fear that his next surprise will be that he has a girlfriend, and that their divorced parents will never get back together.
Strengths: Reader who like sibling stories like Ava and Pip will enjoy this early middle grade book, and it's a strong camp story involving math and science, sort of like Nerd Camp.
Weaknesses: Sunny is really rather obnoxious, and as is the case in Sunny Sweet is So Not Sorry, there are some events (like Sunny registering the girls for a camp without her mother's knowledge) that seem so unlikely as to be a bit ridiculous.
What I really think: I don't have the first two, I think I will send this along to the elementary school.