September 13th 2016 by Philomel Books
Library copy which I SHOULD HAVE READ BEFORE BUYING. Drat.
Tommy loves to play football, and loves to hang out with his father, who is a fire fighter. His sister Emma loves to play soccer. When their father is killed while fighting a house fire, everything goes to hell. The first several chapters are all about the death and the funeral, because that's always a joy to read about. From there, we alternate chapters of good football descriptions with Tommy lashing out and pummeling his teammates. Emma quits soccer and is sad all the time. The mother, at least, holds it together fairly well. Tommy then takes up skateboarding because recklessly endangering himself makes him feel alive. Eventually, he gets hit by a car when skateboarding and ends up with a dislocated shoulder which ends the football season for him. He and his family decide that they must try to move on.
ARGH. Mr. Lupica, I'm going to start boycotting your titles unless they lighten up a bit. This was too freakin' sad. No one wants to go to funerals, much less read about them.
Already bought the
Just done with sad. So done.
Michelson, Richard and Rodriguez, Edel. Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy
September 6th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
This brief biography gives a lot of background on Nimoy's life before his Star Trek fame, including information about his immigrant family, his education and early acting, and struggles to "make it big", which included driving the future President Kennedy around in California! I appreciated that there wasn't a lot on his Star Trek career, and that equal time was given to his art and life after the show. It was an especially helpful thing that the author, a picture book writer and art gallery owner, knew Nimoy personally.
I'm a bit torn about this. Did I love it personally? Yes. Do I know a dozen people to whom I could give this as a gift? Absolutely. But are their students who want a picture book about him? Doubtful.
As far as entertainment value, this is great. However, I'm looking at it as the only biography on Nimoy I am likely to have. As that, it fails in several areas. It lacks any actual photographs of Nimoy, or any reproductions of his art, which I would like to see. There's no timeline, no filmography, and no further resources to investigate. This would not be helpful to a student, for example, who wanted to do a National History Day project on the effect of Star Trek on popular culture.
Have I already purchased a copy? Yep. After all, I still have Blish's And All the Stars a Stage on the shelf, mainly because of the following sentence: "You give me a great big, blue green fuzzy frozen pain in my starbord rear, Admiral."