Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Scholastic Titles

Working my way through some new things that are in the book fair. The hard part about this is that many are available only in paperback, although the way my budget looks, I am going to be buying a lot of prebinds next year. *Sigh* That's a whole conversation right there.

Sharon Draper's The Battle of Jericho (2003) was a lot better than I expected. Her other titles (Tears of a Tiger, Darkness Before Dawn, Romiette and Julio) are all sad, but that children love them. I think that this one, with its secret society initiation, social consciousness and personal responsibility themes will be good for students, and they will enjoy it. I was tickled that she included Cincinnati references (haven't thought about LaRosa's Pizza for years) and wrote the book discussion notes at the back, since she taught English for 25 years.

Sallie Lowenstein's Sender Unknown (2003) had a promising cover and premise, but the first thing I thought was "Wow. The print is really small." Unfortunately, that's the very comment my son made as well. If the main character had been 14 instead of 24, it would have worked better for me. I liked the idea of strange catalogs appearing on his doorstep, but it didn't play out the way I had hoped.

Dietlof Reiche's Ghost Ship (2005) was better than the premise, exceptionally pleasing to read for a translation from the German, but I lost interest in the plot early on. This doesn't fill any needs in my collection, so I'll have to pass.

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