Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Corbett and Flinn

Sue Corbett did the wonderful Twelve Again and Free Baseball. Her latest, The Last Newspaper Boy in America, was something I had to read, because I fear the demise of the newspaper. On the eve of Wil's 12th birthday, when he will take over the family newspaper route, a call comes with bad news-- the newspaper will no longer do home deliveries in Wil's small town. Wil is crushed and determined to prevent this. His small town has enough troubles; the local hairpin factory has shut down and people are out of work. I was afraid that this might not resonate with students who don't care about the newspaper, but there are enough funny moments and sub plots (Wil is determined to win a carnival contest at the local fair, and uncovers some fraud), that this is one students will enjoy. Many thanks to Ms. Corbett for addressing an issue of importance in a vehicle that will hold up for a long time.

Alex Flinn's A Kiss in Time was great fun. My only complaint is that it could also be a boy book if it had a different cover. Told in alternating chapters, this twist on Sleeping Beauty has the princess, Talia, woken up 300 years after she touches a spindle by Jack, a malcontented boy touring Europe. Knowing the curse that was put on her, Talia persuades Jack to take her back home with him to Florida so that she can make him fall in love with her and escape the plans of the evil Malvolia. A little goofy, with the princess being freaked out by tank tops and cell phones, but a fun fantasy. This would work well for boys, since much of it is Jack's perspective, but they would need to slog through Talia's lenghthy discussion of ball dresses at the beginning.

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