Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Bloor's Story Time/Kidd's Monkey Town

I was really prepared to like this book, and it started out well. Gifted child qualifies for magnet school with TBC (test based curriculum). Considering all of the emphasis on standardized testing, I was delighted with how this book depicted test mania taken to the extreme, especially since test scores just came back here. (Blendon did great. Does this mean the teachers were working harder this year? I don't think so. I know that I always work as hard as I can to get students to read; some years, the scores are higher. Anyway.) However, the book veered off from this midway, into a series of weird paranormal events involving a demon possessed Mother Goose book and several rather gory deaths. It seemed like two separate books, which, at 424 pages, it could have been. The students love Bloor's Tangerine, but I don't think that I will be buying this.

Liked Elizabeth Lenhard's Chicks with Sticks (It's a Purl Thing)(2006) which was a good story centered around unlikely friends who come together over knitting, but it just didn't seem like something my students would care to read. Once I got to the graphic scene of the kittens being born, I lost interest myself.

The only one I really have liked lately, and intend to buy, is Ronald Kidd's Monkey Town (2006). I had expected not to like it, considering that Kidd's Sizzle and Splat (1983) sat neglected on my shelves for a long time, but this was really good. I learned more about the Scopes monkey trial than I ever knew, and Kidd used a real person for the main character and involved her in a quasi romance with Scopes, which was fun, even though he stretched the truth a bit. This is a great book when students "have" to read historical fiction, and my historical fiction fans will be pleased with this book as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment