Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Not quite right

Look and Pham's Alvin Ho: Allergic to girls, school and other scary things was great fun, but too young for my boys. Alvin is so scared of everything that he can't even talk in school. Still, he manages to have a few friends who help him, and gets in a number of scrapes, including starting a chicken pox epidemic. The illustrations are great, and Alvin's coping skills and mechanisms are interesting, but this is more for second or third graders.

Service's My Cousin, the Alien struck me as too young as well, but I will run this by some of my readers today. Zach;s cousin has long said that he is an alien prince, and Zack starts to think this may be true. There are lots of goofy science fiction, and the illustrations on this were a bit odd.

Rallison's My Fair Godmother struck me as more of the same as well-- there are a number of dysfunctional fairy godmother stories out there(Meacham's A mid-semester night's dream, Codell's Diary of a Fairy Godmother, Banks' The Fairy Rebel, Bauer's Thwonk). I love this author, and she is very popular with my readers, but I may pass on this one.

Barkley and Helper's Jars of Glass has a cool cover and sounds like the sort of problem novel my readers would like (mother is hospitalized with mental illness, and family, including adopted Russian boy, must cope), but something about the characters did not draw me in.

That was also the problem with Juby's Getting the Girl, which seemed like a humorous/romance book boys would like. ("Sherman investigates the "Defilers", a secret group at his high school that marks certain female tudents as pariahs, at first because he is trying to protect the girl he has a crush on, but later as a matter of principle.") Sherman's voice was not quite right, he was a bit too quirky, and I didn't buy the premise of the "defilers". More of a high school title, I think.

1 comment:

  1. Alvin Ho is a tricky one. Alvin's a 2nd grader but the reading level is higher. That said, both my 1st grade daughter and 5th grade son read and loved all 4 books (which doesn't often happen due to their age difference). We laughed and cried together.