Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Almost to the end of the alphabet

While weeding, I was making sure I really had read all the books up to Westerfeld's Pretties (over break!), and came across Trueman's Stuck in Neutral (2000), which tends to get lost about once a year, so I hadn't read it. Gripping story-- I can see why 8th grade assigns it. Shawn has cerebral palsy and can't communicate with the world, although he is very smart and realistic about his limitations. Problems arise when his father, a prize winning author, thinks that Shawn would be better off dead. Shawn disagrees. I think I need to read the sequels for this as well, and am looking forward to them.

Read a review for Aprilynn Pike's Wings somewhere and was intrigued, so when a student asked me if I could return the book to the public library, I asked if I could read it quickly first. A solid fantasy for girls, with a little romance thrown in. Laurel knows that she was left on her adoptive parents' doorstep as a small child; she knows that she is smaller than most kids her age and has weird troubles with food. This does not prepare her for wings growing out of her back or finding out that she is a fairy. When trolls try to take over land that her parents own that the fairies need, she and two boys, one human and one fairy, have to work to stop this from happening. There feels like a sequel in the offing.

Valerie Frankel's Thin is the New Happy, a memoir for adults, was recommended to me by a friend, and I read it hoping to see how Frankel managed to not pass on her weight obsession to her daughters. This didn't cover that quite as much as I had hoped, but it was interesting to see that apparently, putting ten year olds on diets was quite the thing to do in the 70s (and I have the Avon perfume pins to show that I lost ten pounds at that age). Frankel's weight obsession is more interesting than normal (celebrities, famous magazines, and a lot of drugs are involved), but I hope that she has found peace and isn't as weight obsessed anymore.

It is funny what books appeal to me because of the covers. Reed's Beautiful and Peck's Sprout both came from the library yesterday; both are more for high school, especially Beautiful, which covers so much sex and drug use in a dispassionate way that it is truly disturbing. Was useful to show my son what I meant by "girls with too much eyeliner", however.


  1. I read Wings this summer - saw the author at a bookstore. I liked it pretty well, since it was mostly real people and just a little fantasy.

  2. Inspired by your post, I checked to see if we had Stuck in Neutral...surprise, surprise, it's missing! Wings is hugely popular - I hear it's going to be a movie eventually. If they like Wings, they might also like Victoria Hanley's Violet Wings and E. D. Baker's Wings: a Fairy tale.