Monday, May 15, 2006

Good books I'm not buying, etc.

William Lavender's Aftershocks (2006) was great-- girl in 1906 San Francisco wants to become a doctor but is not allowed, Japanese family maid becomes pregnant by the girl's father and she tries to save her half-sister after the big earthquake. Enjoyed it. However, it is long and I don't think it would be of tremendous interest to my students. Better at the high school level.

Olsen's The Girl with a Baby (2003) was a bit too graphic, even though this is one of the problems that girls like to read about.

Still pondering Alegria's Estrella's Quinceanera (2006). Again, enjoyed the story of a Latino girl who goes to a private school and is trying to balance her school and family life, as well as dissuade her mother from bankrupting the family with a huge quinceanera, complete with orange poufy dress. A bit longer, and the f-bomb is dropped, rather gratuitously, one time. I have a few other novels with a Hispanic focus, and they don't go out often. Osa's Cuba 15 (2003) is good, but it's hard to push. So I'm thinking.

May take the plunge on Claudia Mill's Makeovers by Marcia (2006) as well as a hard back version of Alex Ryan, Stop That (2003). The West Creek Middle School books would be good for the girls who finish all of the Naylor Alice books and the Lowry Anastasia books.

Liked Gloria Miklowitz's The War Between the Classes(1985), and think it has aged well, although Jim Murphy's Death Run (1982) has got to go-- it's been gathering dust, students, when asked, thought the cover was stupid, and the first sentence contains the word "buttocks". There should be rules about writing young adult fiction, and one of the top ones would be "Don't use the word 'buttocks' in your first sentence." Especially if the story goes down hill from there.

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