Monday, April 17, 2006

Assorted "M" authors

Gloria Miklowitz's Good-bye Tomorrow (1987) is interesting, but I wonder if the students today won't quite get it. It is about a boy who gets HIV from a blood transfusion. Treatment, both medical and social, has changed so much in the last twenty years that the book might be irrelevant. I'll run it by some of my problem novel fans.

Liked Ben Mikaelsen's Touching Spirit Bear(2001), and a lot of the boys who really liked The Outsiders might like it, as well as the boys who have read all of the survival fiction I have. I thought the way that Cole's anger was portrayed was especially effective, and it's still believable that he learns to deal with it by living alone in the wilderness.

Adem's Cross (1996), by Alice Mead, depicts the Yugoslav war in the early 1990's, but the descriptions of violence, frustration, and survival during war time ring true and could describe many different wars. A good one to have read; I think a lot of students will be encouraged to read it.

Marisa Montes (who is apparently the cousin of one of my students) did a good job with Something Wicked's in Those Woods(2000). So many things are covered-- Javi's parents die and he must move from his native Puerto Rico to live with his aunt in California. His little brother has an imaginary playmate, who might not be so imaginary. There are good explanations for some of the paranormal phenomena. The only thing that annoyed me was one character who kept uttering exclamations like "Crackers!" and "Crickets" and perhaps once "Cricket Crackers". But that's just me being easily annoyed.

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