Friday, January 04, 2008

More Jerry Spinelli

I definitely admire the breadth of Spinelli's writing. It's fun to find an author whose next book is not something that you would expect.

For my lower readers, I have his Tooter Pepperday, which is good for fans of Junie B. Jones, and apparently a series. (Girl does not want to move to farm with aunt so father can write full time, but is won over eventually.) The Bathwater Gang is rather Cleary-esque (neighborhood full of kids gotten together by spunky grandma). I don't feel qualified to comment on either, since they were emergent reader "chapter books". I never like these. In first grade, I checked out Carolyn Haywood and Donald Sobel and have never looked back.

Loser was much better than I anticipated. Introspective navel-gazing, to be sure, but very well done, and a very understanding view of a student who struggles and doesn't fit in. This would be very effective for a classroom discussion.

Check out Mr. Spinelli's web site, which is very flashy and fun, to see more about his books. Again, he has such a wide range. Aside from Stargirl, I particularly liked Milkweed (about a boy surviving during the holocaust) and The Library Card. I found Wringer disturbing, but some of my reluctant readers adore it. I would like to read Jason and Marceline (sequel to Space Station 7th Grade) but it's out of print!

1 comment:

  1. I wish I could encourage my dear fantasy-reading son to read some of the titles you listed. He won't go for the "girl" ones, but some of Spinelli's other works perhaps. Unfortunately, if I try to get him interested in a book, he usually will steer far, far away from it for months. This even happened with his beloved Redwall books -- he positively REFUSED to touch Redwall for months and months, and then, once he did, he devoured the entire series (over and over and over).

    I'd like to see him read something other than fantasy (and/or sci-fi -- he's reading "Ice Rigger" here at home, one of his father's older paperbacks).