Thursday, February 23, 2006

Two Fun Boy Books

Admittedly, it's an odd paring. Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie (2004), by Jordan Sonnenblick has a great cover, a cool and odd title, lots of funny, quotable lines (But you know how, when you watch The Brady Bunch, you think, "Oh, come on! Nobody is this happy. What's wrong with you people? And who picks out your CLOTHES?" p. 49)-- and it's about a boy struggling with his younger brothers' leukemia. Do I recommend it as a problem novel? Because Steve's struggles with school and the girl on whom he has a crush can be hilarious. His struggles with his brother's illness aren't, but they ring very true. It would be a great book to hand to someone for bibliotherapy, but I liked the story enough to hand it to everyone. Even though it is a bit on the long side (273 p.), I'm definitely getting a copy.

Not so sure about Boy2Girl (2004) by Terence Blacker. I loved it-- Matt's cousin Sam from America comes to live with his family in London after the death of Sam's mother. Sam is rude and thoroughly unpleasant, so Matt's friends insist that Sam perform a task before they will let him into their group-- he has to go to school dressed as a girl for a week. Sam is oddly sucessful as a girl, and it was great fun to read about him both assuming feminine characteristics and teach the girls to carry themselves more like boys. Still, what's the audience here? There is a side story about Sam's estranged father trying to get Sam's inheritance, but it pales beside Sam in a dress. Will boys want to read about gender bending? I think I will keep the copy at the circ desk today and ask.

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