Wednesday, March 22, 2006

McKay and McDaniel

Read my first Lurlene McDaniel book. (Don't Die My Love) Went quickly, had just enough teen angst as well as serious issue. My only problem is that when I describe these books, from what is written on the cover, I tend to say "Everyone dies in them". Not entirely true, or there would not be a quartet about a girl with cancer, but the mortality rate is a bit higher than real life. Still, they are popular with children, and should make them think. Have a few more to read.

Hilary McKay's Dog Friday and The Amber Cat were rather amusing. A boy living in a bed and breakfast with his widowed mother, and the accident prone family of four children that live next door. English, so some British phrases to get through, but generally fun.

Also liked The Toothpaste Millionaire (1970) by Jean Merrill, even though it is dated. ("You may not believe it, but up to the time we moved to Cleveland, I had never met a black person." Made me think--"Moved from where? Mars?") The amounts of money involved in making the toothpaste and selling it are also anachronistic, but the story is good. Will recommend to my humor fans.

Really disappointing batch of new books that I glanced through: Turner's Hard Hit, which is a novel in verse, and I can't get anyone to read those, not even the good Helen Frost ones; Frederick's Crunch Time, about the SATs, which would be okay for high school; Morgan's Mondays are Red, about synethesia, which was just too confusing; and Russel Hoban's Riddley Walker (1980), which sounded so good but was written in such a profound dialect that I wanted to hurl the book across the room. Also was disappointed in Kathleen Odean's Great Books for Boys, because I thought she was wrong so much of the time. I guess that just goes to prove that each population is different.

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