Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sheldon, Snyder and Spinelli

All older titles, these.
Sheldon, Tall, Thin and Blonde 1993. One of this excellent authors first books, this story of a girl who is growing away from her best friend is not as fun as Sheldon's other books, but quite good. It's a theme that resonates with so many middle school girls, and it continues to circulate well.

Snyder. The Runaways. 1999. A rather odd story of three children in a small desert town in 1951 who decide to save up their money to buy bus tickets in order to run away. Dani is tired of her mother not working hard enough, Stormy's mother is abusive, and Pixie's parents are wealthy but work too hard and ignore her. Of course, it takes an entire summer of adventures before they manage to scrape up the money. A decent book, but nothing extraordinary. That said, my very worn paperback of The Velvet Room is one of my favorites. Learn more about this author at http://www.zksnyder.com/

Spinelli. Space Station Seventh Grade. 1982. This book made me ask myself the question "Which do I like better; the early years or the improved Newbery quality Spinelli?" Have to go with the early years, since Love, Stargirl and Eggsleft me cold. Space Station is not so much a novel as a collection of stories about various aspects of seventh grade. Some of them are romantic, some sports, so this is the next choice for one of my 8th grade boys who sheepishly asked for books with romance, but sports, too. Of note is the fact that a anatomically specific word was used several times, and there has been no outrage that I have heard. It is part of the semi-gross middle school humor prevalent in this title.

Have to use all of my resources, and there's no reason these books should not go out fairly well.


  1. Read in a "teen" book recently (okay, okay, it's "Kids are Americans too," by Bill O'Reilly. There, it's no secret I'm on the conservative side). Back to the topic: Read in a teen book that some school district went haywire over an incident in which several high school girls used the "V word" (sad, they can't even use the real word in the book) during a reading of a section of the play the "V***** Monologues" (never read it, don't want to, but found it amusing that he used the phrase, "the V word" and then actually spelled out completely the title of the play anyway).

    Nothing wrong with anatomically specific words... I shudder to think how many times my kids throw around such words as jokes, however, which I suspect is what they do in the Spinelli book. And then you have the movie E.T. -- in which kids around a board game one evening call each other p**** breath. No matter. Middle school kids (and younger) have always bantered about with such words. Nothing new there!

  2. Oh, how I love The Velvet Room. But I never did read The Runaways.