Monday, March 13, 2006

Gordon Korman

Forget being J.K.Rowling. I want to be Gordon Korman. He's been writing over 20 years, and gets better and better all the time. I adored Don't Care High (1985) and am keeping our worn copy together with glue and tape, threatening students who check it out not to lose it. I have three copies each of Son of the Mob (2002) and SOTM: Hollywood Hustle(2004), and those are always out.

My new favorite is the six books in the On the Run (2005) series. Chasing the Falconers, The Fugitive Factor, The Stowaway Solution and Now You See Them, Now You Don't were so good (and short, at about 150 pages) that I read them all in one evening, and polished off Public Enemies and Hunting the Hunter in another. I was sad to see them end, but encouraged that there is a trilogy to follow. Meg and Aiden's parents have been incarcerated for treason, and the only way to get them out is for the children to follow scant clues while being chased across the country by the FBI. And what a chase they give! They steal cars, motorcycles, horses and other forms of transport to make their way across the country and back. A new obstacle appears on nearly every page, and they always have a clever solution. They feel bad about their crimes, and talk about paying the library back when they steal fine money in order to eat, and I liked that, too. They also stop short of murdering the man who is trying to kill them.

My only complaint: Scholastic, why are these only in paperback? Shame, shame on you! It's great that more children can buy them, but what about libraries, who need something a little sturdier to circulate. Then there's the question of paper quality-- in 20 years, these gems will be yellowed and flaking to dust, and I will still want to recommend them.

No comments:

Post a Comment