Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Rachel Vail and Rachel Hawthorne

My wonderful student also loaned my Hawthorne's The Boyfriend League, which was also fun. Girl's family hosts college baseball player who is in a summer league (Does this happen? Do I care if it does or not?), she hopes he will introduce her to other players, she likes him. Lots of fun details, such as her beauty pageant winning sister, her best friend who also plays baseball, and lots of innocent kissing and snuggling. An idealistic view of high school, which is why I loved it, in the same way that I love Beverly Cleary and Rosamund du Jardin.

Vail's Ever After (1995) was not nearly as fun or as interesting as You, Maybe or If We Kiss, and the cover art is not that attractive (I'm not getting the image posting buttons on blogspot this week. Hmmm.)More of the journal entry, I want to remember how horrible middle school was sort of writing. Hard to tell how I feel about this, but think my dislike is triggered by the fact that I am old. Did I want to read about people's ordinary problems? Can't remember. i do need to push this one more to her fans.

Yoo's Girls for Breakfast is another story. I think I am sending it to the high school. I didn't read it before I bought it, and it is rather coarse, and not really good enough (like Son of the Mob or Slot Machine) to make up for this.

Finally, Tony Johnstone's Bone by Bone by Bone was intriguing and disturbing. She apologizes at the very beginning for the language and the tone, saying that it reflects the time about which she is writing, and the prejudices that her father had. Students should read this, certainly, but I don't think that my students have the background to fully understand what is going on. This would be an excellent accompaniment to To Kill a Mockingbird (which is good, but really, nothing else has been written about civil rights in the last 40 years?). David's father is so nasty, and his relationship with his black best friend would take some explaining for even our 8th graders to fully grasp.

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