Thursday, December 18, 2008

One fluffy, one fantasy

Rideout and Collins' Girl v. Boy was certainly fun, but there were some more serious messages as well that made it even better. Struggling inner city school is part of a citywide competition to raise money for literacy. The principal decides to make it a competition between the genders in order to raise more money. Luisa Perez is approached to right an anonymous newspaper column representing the girls' participation in the fund raiser, but when she disagrees with the point of view of the boys' columnist, the battle of the sexes heats up. There is a nice romance, if the ending is slightly predictable. The Latina main character is refreshing because that is not the main focus of the book, although there are funny moments when she talks about being one of 11 girls with that name at her school. The only real problem I had with this was that the prize for raising the most money was two weeks off school, and this could never happen in real life. This will be great for 8th graders who have read all my fun "girl" books.

Phillip Womack's fantasy novel, The Other Book, is wonderfully dense and British, so more suited to the reader who has read every fantasy book in the library from Alexander to Yolen, but a must-have for those students. Edward is muddling through his studies at a boarding school when he finds a book that is inherently evil and becomes part of him. If this is not bad enough, an evil school governor shows up and wants that book. Since it is made clear to Edward that he is the protector of the book, and if it gets into the wrong hands the world is in peril, he and his friends fight the forcees of evil. Filled with lots of gory, bloody, violent scenes and enough tangential Arthurian legend to keep those fantasy fans happy, I'll be pleased to order this one even though it made me, once again, wish that I were teaching Latin at Eton instead of being a librarian in Ohio. Ah, well. Sic transit gloria mundi. (Edward would understand.)
Also picked up Alan Sitomer's The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez, but it is a high school level book. Uhlig's Boy Minus Girl looked like it would be a good funny book for boys, but... EW!! Just did not need to know that much about boys' habits. Wouldn't be able to hand it to anyone and say "Read this".


  1. The Other Book - something elder son might read, perhaps? Or too... dense? (The book, not the boy...well, then again... ;-) And maybe if it IS a dense and long book it'll keep him occupied for more than a few hours?!

  2. The Other Book sounds pretty good

    about boy minus girl--haha I agree it is more of a boy book. It sure made me laugh sometimes though even though I'm not a boy or 14 years old, but it is indeed pretty icky to read that. I enjoyed the story quite a bit but I just don't know who I would hand this book to. :)

  3. I love Sandy and Yvonne--Girl V. Boy looks hilarious and really cute!