Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Cathy Hopkins, etc.

I love the Cathy Hopkins Mates, Dates and series. Funny, light, set in London: what more could I want? After receiving a circulation card from me, she sent me 8 paperbacks. What a nice person! Read Mates, Dates and Chocolate Cheats and Mates, Dates and Diamond Destiny. Liked both, although the chocolate one was a bit like Wilson's Girls Under Pressure (although with less eating disorder).

Also read McKenzie's Stargone John (1990), which was a short book, but hard to sell to students. It's about a boy who doesn't do well in school because he won't talk, although it's never made clear what his problem in. Nicolasa Mohr's Felita (1979) was more engaging, and students will identify more with a character whose family has moved. It also deals with racism against Hispanics, which is timely.

Michael Morpurgo's The War of Jenkins Ear, however, is about as untimely as it gets. Published in 1995, it has been checked out ONE time. It's set in 1950s England, it starts with a Latin sentence and has a six page debate whether or not one should eat rice pudding skin. Just not going to do well, this poor book. Did I mention that one of the main characters thinks he's Jesus?

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