Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Love Puppies, Lunch, and Languishing Books

R.W. Krech's Love Puppies and Corner Kicks has a great cover and was very fun. Andrea's family moves to Scotland for a year while her parents are doing a teacher exchange. Things don't start out well-- the family has to live briefly with the principal of the school, she has trouble with the bus, she's stressed out and her stutter returns. Luckily, one of the teachers finds out she likes soccer, and gets her involved with the group playing at recess. Things improve even more when she makes friends and a boy starts to like her. The information about living in Scotland is especially interesting.

But Bob, Bob, Bob. You can hide under your initials, but I still know that you did the fabulous Rebound which is falling apart from use in my library. I know that authors can choose whatever voice and characters they want, but this would have been great and a little unusual had the main character been a BOY. I would probably have bought two copies. Boys don't see to get as many travel books. As it is, I'm debating purchasing, because the number of girls who want soccer books is very small. The humor was good in this, and it would have been perfect... if the main character had been a boy. *Sigh*

Krosoczka's Lunch Lady books are funny, but I'm starting to wonder about what horrible thing happened in his past to turn him against librarians, and now authors. After a cranky author visits, the school gym teacher goes missing, and Lunch Lady discovers that the author has kidnapped gym teachers from around the country, hypnotized them, and has them working in his mansion. Kids will love it.

Picked up a horrible old and unattractive copy of Norma Klein's Taking Sides (1974), and when I realized that the main character was named Nell, I thought I could get Picky Reader to read it, since that is her name. No luck. Nell's parents are divorced, and she lives with her father in NYC, spending time with her mother, who lives with her friend Greta out in the country. Adjustment is difficult, especially when her father starts dating. This was probably edgy at one time, since it mentions periods and alludes to parents spending weekends with members of the opposite sex, but it just felt old and tired. I kept waiting to find out that Nell's mother and Greta were an item. This author, who died in 1989, wrote a huge number of books for young people, including Mom, The Wolfman and Me and Sunshine, which I remember from Prose and Poetry speech competitions. The question of the day: If a book was made into an After School Special or a Movie of the Week with Kristy McNicol, can it still be relevant?


  1. Haha! That last book looks like something I probably read in middle school. Ouch! I'm getting old!

  2. I like your blog Ms.Yingling! l need a new book and i think i found it!

  3. Anonymous9:42 AM EST

    I'll just say there's a reason After School Specials aren't on dvd or vhs!

    Nice try on your part though, pulling this one out for Picky Reader! What did she end up reading?

  4. Oh, but the After School Specials ARE available on DVD. They have them at the public library. There's even one with Lance Kerwin, of James at 15 fame. May have to watch that one. Picky Reader has been sucked back into the Harry Potter books and I can't extricate her.