Thursday, April 12, 2007

Side Effects-- Koss

Loved Koss' Side Effects, about a teenage girl who has lymphoma and lives. The voice is fresh and irreverent, and so different from the other books about cancer. I had to laugh when the main character and her friend go to the library to look for books on cancer, and I got all of the references-- yeah, the one about the kid who gets superpowers because of chemo has never been my favorite either. This book doesn't pull any punches about how hard treatment for cancer is, but there is no self-pitying and whining, but no sanctimonious fighting-the-good-fight, either. Great book.

Another fairly new one-- John Attanas' Eddie and the Jets. Main character is 6th grader, and it's a standard football book with assorted problems (father leaves, friends fight), but easy to follow and moves along at a good pace. Bought this without reading it (had desperate need for football, basketball and war books), so thank the author for a well-done book.

Don't get Pinkwater. Just don't. Fat Men From Space left me cold. THere is some late 70's Monty Pythonesque quality that just never made sense to me, but I've never been a 12 year old boy, and that's the target audience. Did get Lizard Music off the shelves, and my son read Fat Men, so we'll see.

Paul Pitts' Racing the Sun (1988) was a surprisingly (okay, I'm having issues getting through all of the "P" authors-- haven't weeded there and am finding some moldy oldies) readable. Young Navajo boy whose family has decided to live off of the reservation and eschew traditional values has to host ailing grandfather. Nice generational tension, good resolution, interesting examination of culture and what it means to either embrace or reject it, and how there are indeed compromises to be made.

Finally, Alison's Houtte's Alligators, Old Mink and New Money: One Woman's Adventures in Vintage Clothing was just pure fun. I have a few vintage pieces I like to wear to work to amuse the students (most notably a polyester dress in pink, electric blue, lime, orange and hot pink paisley), but don't live the sort of lifestyle where I can pay more than five dollars for any article of clothing, so this was vicarious thrills. Sigh. My reward for making it through Pinkwater, I guess!

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