Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Airball: My Life in Briefs (L.D. Harkrader)

Since I am always on the lookout for both basketball books AND funny books for boys, (there are not nearly enough written)this was a nice surprise. No bad language, just a great basketball story with underlying problem, and a problem more fun than most. Is Kirby's father the famous basketball player who comes to town, even though Kirby is not a good basketball player?

There is compelling evidence, but the book is so much fun that it doesn't matter. I thought the Stealth technology uniforms were very funny (think The Emperor's New Clothes) and while it almost went over the line of plausibility, it didn't. I can see that a team playing in their underwear would become more closely knit.

The boys will love this one. Clever language speeds the book along, and I've stated the rule before-- if I buy a book with underwear on the cover, it has to be good!

Got through Pike's Time Terror and Night of the Vampire, and am starting to find that I care what happens to Watch, Cindy and the rest. This must be why children like series so much. They are comfortable and familiar. My own children read all 54 Animorphs books and were big fans of the Magic Treehouse series. Note to college professors of children's literature-- it didn't hurt any of them!

Found two older titles that have not circulated well on the shelves-- Bonnie Pryor's Rats, Spiders and Love (1986) which is a very readable story about a girl whose mother might marry a man who will take them away from their home. The girl tries a variety of ways to get her mother interested in her teacher instead, but eventually comes to terms with the boyfriend. Easy to follow, this will go out if I suggest it.

I really liked Mary Frances Shura's The Josie Gambit, also from 1986, which has only gone out four time in 20 years. This is too bad. It is really a mystery-- why does the unhappy Tory seem to be the root of a lot of bad things going on-- and was fast paced and intriguing. Again, if I don't read all the books, how will I know what I should push? I was glad to find this one.

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