Friday, February 17, 2006

Recent Favorites

The best book I've read recently is Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes. I even bought a copy for myself, which I have loaned out 3 times in the last week! Talk about a vicarious thrill-- a teenage girl's aunt dies, and the aunt leave her 13 Little Blue Envelopes, the first of which has money for a plane ticket to London, and directions about what to do when she gets there. Opening the envelopes takes her on a tour of Europe, and she learns more about her aunt. There is some romance involved, but nothing objectionable. Ordering two copies!

Kevin Brooks' Candy has been very, very popular. It is about a 15 year old boy who meets a drug-addicted teenage prostitute and befriends her. He tries unsucessfully to get her off drugs and away from her pimp. While the topic makes it very intriguing to students, and there is some language, a whole lot of what could happen DOESN'T, and I am comfortable handing it to students. It doesn't romanticize drugs. Just very good. Unfortunately, I didn't care much for other titles by this author (Kissing the Rain, Martyn Pig). They get checked out, but the students are disappointed.

A riveting nonfiction title was Karen Blumenthal's Let Me Play, about Title IX and its effect on education in the US and opportunities for women. I learned so much, and I was in school when it was being put in place. The girls in school now take so many of their opportunites for granted. I had my daughter read it-- I only had to tell her about the girl who got a gold medal in swimming in the 1964 Olympics but could not get a college scholarship because there were no college swim teams for girls. She was outraged, and loved the book. This author also has a book about the 1929 stock market crash entitled Six Days in October that I am looking forward to reading.

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