Thursday, February 21, 2008

Robert Muchamore (and much more)

Posted about Muchamore's Divine Madness on October 08, 2007, and just now got the first in the series, The Recruit, and only now because I ordered it through Perma-Bound. Was not disappointed. So much happened in this book that it is rather like three separate novels-- James escapes an unfortunate home life because of the even more unfortunate death of his mother, ends up in foster care where he gets in trouble, gets recruited by the elite, child-oriented CHERUB division of MI5, goes through the horrific boot camp, and gets sent on a mission to a commune to help defeat ecoterrorists. Wow. Never a dull moment. Depending on how this goes over, I see purchasing another copy of the entire series, because I think the interest, especially from the very difficult to please 8th grade boys, will be huge. The nice thing is that the series does not need to be read in order. A must have for fans of Anthony Horowitz who are panting for the sequel to Snakehead.

Also in the shipment was Lisa Barnham's A Girl Like Moi, which is on oddly shiny, heavy quality paper, with adorable illustrations scattered throughout the pages. A rather airy, vapid tale of a fashion obsessed girl trying to keep up with the richer girls in her school, it had really no substance but a high amusement factor. It will circulate well, but may also date very quickly.

Jospeh Bruchac can be counted on to do well-researched, fairly interesting books on Native American topics, and he does not disappoint with his 2004 The Winter People. Set during the French and Indian war, it follows a teenage boy who must rescue his family after they have been captured by the British. Had to order this one for my student who has decided to read only Native American literature this year, since it will also be a good title to go along with the curriculum. Enough action and adventure to tempt students who do not want to read history!

Could not get into Cornwell's Carpe Diem because I found the main character so obnoxious. Yeah, yeah, you're brilliant and your family is supportive but dysfunctional. Probably a very nice book, but just hit me wrong. Same must be said of Provost's The Book of Time, which floundered somewhere in chapter two for all four readers in my house, even though we are obsessed with time travel right now because of Voyagers! I think it might be because it was translated from the French. This can make books harder to connect with, I think. Exception to the rule: Cornelia Funke.

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