Friday, January 15, 2010

Gorgeous and other titles

I remembered being very lukewarm about Rachel Vail's Lucky , but I did buy it. However, I was confused by Gorgeous. In Lucky, the three sisters was having a hard time because their parents were struggling financially and their friends were still being spoiled rich kids. In Gorgeous, Allison sells her cell phone to the devil in exchange for the illusion of beauty. This switch from realisim to fantasy had me kerflummoxed, and I did not like Allison at all. This would probably be fine for girls who liked Maureen Johnson's Devilish, but I may pass. This is too bad, because Vail's If We Kiss and You, Maybe are falling to bits from heavy use.

Robb White's 1973 Deathwatch has been in my TBR pile for a long time, but was quite a good survival book. Ben takes a job showing Madec where to shoot bighorn sheep, but when Madec accidentally shoots and kills a prospector and Ben refuses to cover up the murder, Madec strips Ben of his clothes and supplies, turns him loose in the desert, sabotages any attempt Ben makes to survive AND shoots at him. Can Ben survive the 45 mile trek back to civilization with his feet torn to shreds, the skin peeling off his tongue, and a crazy man on his trail? And what will happen to him when he does? This is still in print, and still a fine tale of survival. I'll have it in someone's hands by the end of the day.

In Betty Ren Wright's The Ghosts of Mercy Manor, Gwen moves to an old house in a remote but close knit community to live in a foster home to stay in the school she is used to because of her reversal of fortunes due to the death of her parents and aunt. While there, Gwen has dreams about the ghost of a golden haired girl, although no one takes her too seriously because of other struggles with her foster brother who wants to write instead of playing basketball, and the depression of her foster mother. When she realizes that the ghosts are staying on because of two men who killed a young girl when the mother lived in the house as a child, she is able to ease the ghost's spirit and stop the haunting. (Okay, as rude as this template is, it has enabled me to give a one minute book talk on every single Wright book to various students yesterday. I think I only have one left on the shelf!)

This title is also out of print.


  1. I think I first read Deathwatch 20 years ago. I still booktalk it and it's still extremely popular. It's one of my sure-fire hit with reluctant reader boys.

    I laughed over your Betty Ren Wright template. I've read The Dollhouse Murders but I think that's about it. We do have a number of her books and they are popular, however.

    Lucky and Gorgeous are on my to-read list. They just came in with my new book order last month.

  2. I went through a big Robb White phase when I was...a teen? in college? a while ago. Deathwatch is the only one that pretty much remains in print all the time, but my favorite is The Lion's Paw, a sort of typical orphan adventure story, but really gripping! It was republished about a year ago and I really wanted to buy it for the library, but it was VERY expensive and I couldn't justify it, didn't think it would really resonate with most of the kids. Le sigh. I think I'll check and see if we have Deathwatch though...