Friday, December 14, 2007

Authors by the name of Smith

Smith, Marya. Winter-Broken. (1990) This hasn't seen much circulation, but this story of a girl living with an abusive father, abetting mother, and three sisters will appeal to students who like to read about people who are worse off than they are. Dawn finds some salvation at a neighboring farm, where the man who feeds the horse gives her work and encouragement. The book ends without resolution, but we do at least know that Dawn has someone who might help.

Smith, Sherwood. Crown Duel(1997) , Court Duel(1998). These will appeal to fans of Tamora Pierce's Tortall books as well as Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles. Fairly high fantasy, although no maps, and standard adventure of young girl against the evil forces attacking her kingdom. In the first book, Meliara is captured and spends most of the time in rags and cold prisons eating wretched food, in the second, she goes to another court and deals with all of the subterfuge. After I glue the second book back together (I'm doing a lot of this lately), this will go out well, but I wasn't in the mood for it. All those made up names like Charic and Justav annoy.

Sleator, William. The Boxes. I've recommended this for years without reading it, based on students' comments. A rather odd mystery/sci fi/fantasy story about a girl who opens boxes her uncle tells her not to, and then creatures who can slow time emerge and cause trouble. The sequel is Marco's Millions, and I need to read that as well.

Slote, Alfred. Moving In. Probably my favorite of the pile, a gentle story about a boy who moves to a new community with his father and sister because his father has bought a business from the wife of a former friend. Robby would rather go back to his old town, and his sister is worried that the father will marry; complications ensue. This might be better for younger students, but it was Cleary-esque and I enjoyed it. Slote's sports titles circulate well, but my favorite is the futuristic My Robot Buddy, which was written in the 1970s and is funny because the main selling point of the robot is that the father can take it on business and use it as a phone.

My goal today will be to get these into the hands of students. Utilizing all the resources, that's what it's about!

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