Monday, October 26, 2009

Clearing out the To Be Read Pile

Roland Smith's The Cryptid Hunters is one that my students really like. For some reason, it has never done that much for me, so it's not a surprise that the sequel, tentacles, sat in my pile for a long time. Great cover, lots of action, sea monsters, One of the things that bothered me was that there seemed to be 8 characters on every single page, and I got tired trying to keep them straight. Still, I will order this one, and if the first book has been popular at your school, this would be one to have. "After the mysterious disappearance of their parents, Marty and Grace go to live with their scientist uncle and accompany him on, what soon becomes, an increasingly dangerous expedition to New Zealand to track a giant squid."

Pete Hautmann's latest, How to Steal a Car, generated a panel discussion in my house. We decided that a book with a blue cover and cars on the front should not start out with two girls going to the mall and then the pool to ogle cute guys. Boys will pick it up and be disappointed; girls don't necessarily want to read about someone stealing cars. "Kelleigh, a fifteen-year-old suburban high school student with a learner's permit, recounts how she began stealing cars one summer despite being unsure of her reasons for doing so." Family problems lead her to a life of crime. It was a good book; I'm just not sure of the audience.

Wish You Were Dead was a book I ordered without reading it. It's a good mystery-- a high schooler who blogs complains about popular snotty students, and then they start disappearing. The whole community is rocked by this, and Madison starts to fear for her own safety, so tries to uncover the mystery. This is more of a high school book, since the students are shown drinking (although not in a good light, and with disastrous consequences), and I was a bit confused by the unflattering introduction of two lesbian characters. Not much is said about them, but they are referred to as "the lesbians from Mars" and "the lesbos", which I thought was uncalled for.

Also plowed through a number of books that are more suitable for high school and/or just didn't click: Leal's Also Known as Harper, Pausewang's Traitor, Lasky's Hannah, Madison's The Blonde of the Joke, Kemp's Breakfast at Bloomingdale's, Malloy's Twelve Long Months, Brande's Fat Cat, Dowd's Solace of the Road.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read a Roland Smith book yet. His books frequently appear on the Texas Lonestar List so I've wanted to. I found your take on Cryptids interesting. Maybe that is why I've never gotten around to reading him. I do LOVE Alex Rider.