Monday, March 13, 2006

Assorted New Books

Hyperion Books for Children sent me a box of uncorrected proofs, and those have been fun. Ally Carter's I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You has a girl on the front cover, and the boys are still eager to read it. About a girl enrolled in an elite spy school who uses her skills to follow a local boy that she likes, it is humorous and imaginative. There are enough spy details for the boys, and enough boy details for the girls. Definitely will get one of these in hard cover.

Lisa Papdemetriou's Sixth-Grade, Glommers, Norks and Me is one I'm thinking about. Since comic school stories are my favorite, I have to be careful not to buy them all. The gimick in this one is the vocabulary words the main character introduces, but the main event in the story is the failing friendship between two girls, and the new friends that one of them makes. Valid concerns for this age level, so I will probably go ahead.

I'll pass on Beth Evangelista's Gifted (2005) however; it's got underwear on the cover, and as my daughter pointed out, the title looks like it is written in, um, excrement. The story started out okay, but my interest waned, and I couldn't get my son to pick it up, and he likes humorous books. I have to be very critical of everything I read because I don't have the funding or space to buy everything!

Will get Michael Simmons' Pool Boy (2003) because I think it will appeal to 8th grade boys, who are very difficult (again, need that football playing vampire book!) The idea of a rich kid losing all of his money and cleaning pools for a living because his father is incarcerated for white collar crime is intriguing, and all of the subplots, while predictable, ring true.

Thankfully, Michele Jaffe's Bad Kitty (2006) does not step over the line into inappropriateness. It is a mystery, and there are never enough of those to go around, especially for the 8th grade girls who do not want to be pried away from their pink books. The footnotes annoyed me a little bit, and it was awfully heavy on instant messages and cell phone use, which I am always afraid will date the book later (Twenty years from now when we are all, what? Communicating telepathically?) That the mystery closely involves a cute boy is a good hook, and I didn't see the ending coming, so I was happy.

Liked Lensey Namioka's Mismatch (2005), about a Chinese-American girl whose family doesn't like her Japanese-American boyfriend, but it would be a hard sell, even though it did an excellent job of explaining why there are racial tensions between the two cultures.

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