Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Books with underwear on the cover

This prompted by Lauren Myracle's The Fashion Disaster that Changed My Life (2005). As I tell the students, if it's got underwear on the cover, it has to be really good before I buy it. This one wasn't. Given my choice, I would read nothing but what I refer to as "pink, fluffy" books, so if I don't like a light romance, it would be hard to recommend. Nothing overly bad, just an overdone diary format, and nothing fantastic. So, I'll pass.

BUT, there are books with flagrant undies on the cover that I do like: LBD: Live and Fabulous (2003) by Grace Dent is one. Set in England, it's a light story of three friends who are not allowed to go to a music festival, so they plan one at their school. One that I don't care for but that is very popular is Louise Rennison's Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging (2000). I swear the author entitles these in ways that will embarass adults. Again, the diary format is overdone, but it's got a fun tone and lots of Briticisms to set it apart. I vastly prefer Cherry Whytock's My Cup Runneth Over (2003), because it has the same fun British tone but is from the perspective of an overweight teen, and deals with her emotions nicely. All of these have at least one sequel.

For boys, there's always the Captain Underpants books, and some middle school students are still interested in those. One of the funniest books I've read is Michale Lawrence's Jiggy McCue and the Killer Underpants (2002). Jiggy's mom buys him a pair at a flea market, and they are possessed by evil spirits who make him act in uncontrollable ways. His attempts to extricate himself made me snort through my nose with laughter. Good stuff. In fact, when I went to London, I bought the books in the series that are not published in the states. (Only three are out here, with plans for no more.)

The only other book I can think of is Tom Birdseye's Attack of the Mutant Underwear (2003), which isn't really about underwear at all. A nice, fun school story, it has been fairly popular as well.

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