Friday, March 20, 2009

The Demigod Files; Scaredy Kat

This is what I don't understand. Does Disney/Hyperion not think that Rick Riordan is a good writer? Why do they keep publishing his work in horrible, cheap bindings? (Think Maze of Bones.)The Demigod Files is just the thing to keep my students happy until May 5th, when the next Percy Jackson book comes out. There are three short stories, all rollicking good adventures, as well as "interviews" with the characters, illustrations, and maps. Didn't quite understand the games (word searches?). As always, it was the sheer brilliance of writing that I love about Riordan-- the turns of phrase that make me wish that I had written them. ("Like somebody was getting attacked by possessed poultry, and believe me, that's a situation I've been in before." pg. 5) He interests the readers immediately. Give the man some more respect, Disney. This includes more than putting an embargo on his titles!

Another author who does not get the treatment she deserves is Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. I thought her Lily B. series was brilliant, and yet her publisher religated her to Scholastic paperbacks and stopped her after three books. Her Suddenly Supernatural series is in the same paper over boards binding that The Demigod Files is, and these covers last about two weeks in backpacks and lockers before they look chewed on. Scaredy Kat, the sequel to School Spirit, continues the story of a girl who finds she has the same ability to communicate with spirits that her mother does. This time, she is involved with a spirit in the house next door, who turns out not to be dead, but just in a coma. The brilliant thing about Kimmel is her characters and families. Things are a little rocky at Kat's house, but the relationships are portrayed as warm and supportive. I am really excited about Unhappy Medium, which comes out this April.

Loved Kathleen Krull's biography of Marie Curie, so picked up her L. Frank Baum biography, but it's a picture book. Interesting enough, but much too young for my students. That, and I just weeded biographies and may never purchase another one. I think I had every single biography that was here when the building opened in 1969. No one seems to do biography projects any more, and as much as I love biographies and try to push them, the students just do not check them out.

It's on to the Final Frontier of Cleaning-- the cabinets in the back room. Whee!


  1. I loved Kimmel's Lily B--so cute! I wish there were more...Her new series sounds a little young for me, but cute!

  2. I love the Suddenly Supernatural series - you are spot on about the characters and families. I've not read the Lily B ones - I'll add them to my list. My 10-year-old loves Suddenly Supernatural, so maybe I'll try Lily B out on her.