Monday, October 03, 2016
MMGM- E.B. White
Nominations for the Cybils Awards are now open! Make sure you head over to nominate your favorite titles. Middle Grade Fiction especially needs lots of good titles nominated!
It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.
Hautman, Pete. The Forgetting Machine
September 20th 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
Now that Ginger has figured out the problems in her hometown that were making people comatose (see The Flinkwater Factor), she's stuck doing boring school projects like finding out why her town is named Flinkwater. (No, there's no flink in the water!) When her big crush, Billy, has a new tutor, Mr. Rausch, who is supposed to help him with his history class, he suddenly knows a lot of facts but doesn't remember Ginger! Ginger's father also has some memory loss, which seems to be affecting many people at ACPOD. Add to this mix the Tisk's who are trying to get Charlotte's Web removed from the town library (run by the Pformidable Pfleuger, who loves paper books) and whom Ginger suspects have altered online copies, and life starts to get exciting. Ginger and Theo figure out that Rausch has a machine that he is using to download information directly into people's brains, but at the expense of their other memories. He's also saving the memories in animals' brains. Clearly, this is not something that Ginger can allow to happen.
Strengths: This was a fun, science fiction-y romp which I enjoyed a lot. Not space travel, not dystopia, just technology being used for good and evil. I especially enjoyed the chapter in the back that discussed whether the technologies mentioned were something currently being used in the present or being developed for the future. (As invasive as using fingerprints instead of passwords is, I think passwords will be the death of us all and I'm okay with it. Or retina scanning.)
Weaknesses: The first book hasn't circulated terribly well, probably because of the cover. I think I will include it with the video game books, or put it on display with the really popular Korman's Masterminds, and that might get readers into this series.
What I Really Think: This is a fun change of pace for Hautman, and I'm enjoying it!
AND, since this uses Charlotte's Web as a cultural touchstone, maybe I can use that to drum up interest in this E.B. White's biography.
**UPDATE** In the comments, Kirby Larson pointed out that there is a nice post on this book at The Nerdy Book Club. Since I read an E ARC on a Kindle from 2010, I didn't get to see the art very clearly, so I'm looking forward to the library copy I purchased to come in. The art will make it much easier to entice children to read this.
Sweet, Melissa. Some Writer! The Story of E.B.White
October 4th 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
E ARC from Netgalley.com
I have to say that this was an oddly readable book despite its length (176 pages) and subject matter (E.B. White just mainly wanted to be left alone and write). Will my students be as blown away by it as the teachers and librarians like me who seem to love it? Probably not. As much as I like The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus illustrated by this author, I would not be at all surprised if it has never once circulated.
So, well researched, visually appealing, oddly readable. I will definitely purchase and recommend, but will any of my students read it? Sigh.