Monday, April 24, 2006

Piles o' stuff

Rather depressing pile this weekend. Bleah. Gay-Neck: The Story of a Pigeon (1927). I'm sorry, Newbery or no, it's going to be almost impossible to get anyone to read this. Not only is there the title, which middle schoolers will ridicule mercilessly, it's just boring. And the pigeon talks to them, in the language of all animals. Tastes change. I have two copies. Hmmm.

Diane McKinney-Whetstone's Tempest Rising (1998) is probably a very fine book for adults, but I don't know why it's in this collection. If a book uses the f-word to describe being hit by bird poop, then I have to really rethink it. It's lucky that it's only been checked out twice in a dozen years.

And with four check outs in 18 years, we have Georgess McHargue's See You Later Crocodile(1988). Girl befriends old woman with cats. Old woman speaks in heavy northeaster accent. A lot. Don't know why children would be turned off-- I thought the description of a house of many animals, run by an infirm woman, was just lovely. Bleargh.

Now, I did say I rather liked three Anne McCaffrey books, but Dragonsdawn(1988) was not one of them. The whole prehistory, spaceships AND dragons thing got to me. Did have a nice conversation with a friend who loves the books, and she said that the series took on a life of it's own, and some books are better than others. I am not just being difficult.

Gloria Miklowitz's Standing Tall, Looking Good (1994) is a serviceable account of three teens who enter the army. This one I can get into students hands today.

Wanted to like Graham Gardner's Inventing Elliot(2003), about a boy who was bullied who turns to bullying himself, but it was just too disturbing, and no good came of it in the end. Plus, even though it was disturbing, it lost me at the end. I just put the book down and didn't want to pick it back up.

Did like Candace Fleming's Our Eleanor (2005) about Eleanor Roosevelt. It's a fun book, done scrapbook style, but I have enough trouble getting students to check out the biographies I have. Will have to pass on purchasing, although it was fun to read.

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