Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Mystery of the Third Lucretia

I liked Susan Runholt's title, which utilizes a formula which is always successful-- one easy, well known word (third) with one unusual one. That way, students will say "It was the third something." Plus, it doesn't hurt to label mysteries!

I was not disappointed. Kari and Lucas are both very interested in art, and notice at the museum where they take classes that a suspicious man is copying a painting. When they later get an opportunity to travel to London, they notice him in a museum there. While it's slightly far-fetched that they identify and eventually nab a forger, it shows a lot of girl power, and combines this with international travel. Also of note that there is a mother present, but she is a perfect balance of supportive and hands-off. Fans of Ellen Potter's Pish Posh and the new Michael Beil The Red Blazer Girls will get a kick out of this. What there is a desperate need for are similar mysteries with BOYS as the main characters.

Creative Press has a Built for Success series that I enjoyed a lot. Read The Story of Starbucks and The Story of McDonald's. Titles are also available for Coca-Cola, Disney, Ford, Google, Microsoft and Nike. These are perfect for the nonfiction reading assignment one of our teachers gives, since they are 46 pages long, packed with pictures and information, and, best of all, only $13.66 if ordered in FollettBound. Can't tell you the number of times I've had to explain to a parent that yes, that yes, that 1/4 inch thick book on crayons that a child lost really did cost $25.00! I'll definitely be getting the others, since they are also just fun to read.

Non-book news: The library renovations will be done in the summer of 2011, but we'll be ripping out shelving on Monday and rewiring June 15! I'm also thinking of changing out wall of smiley face stuff for vintage ceramic owls, which are available in plenty at thrift stores. (Ones pictured here are new, by Fruit Fly Pie. This is torturing my principal (who is the BEST principal on the planet!), because he would like the library to step out of the seventies and look like Pottery Barn. I think that it is good for middle school students, who are trying to establish their own identities, to have some examples of stepping outside the box. And dancing. Besides, the owls would make me happy.


  1. I like the smiley faces. Keep the smiley faces. Please! :o)

  2. Oh, but the owls would be so much fun!

  3. Dear Ms. Yingling,

    As you decorate your new space, please consider what you wrote about the need for mysteries written for BOYS. Actually, boys need more books, period. Do smiley faces or happy owls tell boys that the library is a place for them, or does it reinforce the misconception that the library is a cute place for girls. Just a thought.