Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Finish Line, etc.

Blogger wasn't working yesterday, so I packed up my back room instead. Whee. I didn't keep track of hours because I was very distracted. Here's what I read:

Myracle, Lauren. Thirteen Plus One.
Winnie and her friends get a chance to spend a month working at a turtle sanctuary along a beach during the summer after eighth grade. Dinah and Cinnamon both get interested in boys, although Winnie remains true to Lars. Nothing terribly earth shattering happened, but Myracle's younger books are my new favorite-- they remind me a bit of Lenora Mattingly Weber in that they describe all of the things that are NEW about being an up-and-coming teenager. I wanted to check 11 and 12 out of the library, but they had multiple holds on them. Drat.

Carter, Scott William. The last great getaway of the Water Balloon Boys.
Picked this one up at a book look, expecting something like DuPrau's Car Trouble. This, however, is darker and more high school, given some of the language and situations. Charlie, the target of school bullies, is rescued by former friend Jake, who has stolen the principal's '67 Mustang. The two take off on a convoluted path to Denver to see Charlie's estranged father, get involved with some unsavory characters, and eventually some crime. Perhaps for high school, but this was a little too much for younger students.

Morrison, Angela. Sing me to Sleep.
Also more high school, from public library. Beth is bullied at school because of her appearance, but she has a good singing voice and is part of a competition choir. When they get accepted to a foreign competition, the other members give Beth a makeover and she's much more attractive. Her long time friend Scott has always been interested in her, but gaining the attention of the attractive Derek, a singer from another choir, is a surprise, and the two launch into an intense relationship, complicated by Derek's medical issues, which he has kept hidden. A sad book, I would have liked this better if Beth hadn't undergone her "transformation". There was enough going on without it.

Then, last night:

Patt. Beverly. Best Friends Forever: A World War II Scrapbook.
This is a good take on the Japanese internment, but for younger readers. Louise and Dottie remain good friends even after Dottie's Japanese family is removed to an internment camp. Louise's life continues on, converned with the war, of course, and she gets letters from Dottie describing what her life is like. Interesting parallels with Louise's family having rocks thrown in their window because they are German, and the pictures of artifacts from the era are fun to look at, but this would be better suited for the elementary school. On this topic, Hughes' Missing in Action or Kadohata's Weedflower give more in-depth explanation.

Block, Francesca Lia. House of Dolls.
I'm not a fan of Block (Weetzie Bat), but I loved Rumer Godden as a child, and this looked reminiscent of her doll books. It was not bad-- Madison has three dolls and a house for them that was her grandmother's, but she is jealous of the dolls and the attention that they get. The ending is pat and the characters are a tiny bit quirky, but for an elementary population fond of Godden's work (which seems not to be in print), this would be a fresh, new book.

Houtman, Jacqueline.The Reinvention of Edison Thomas.
Eddy is brilliant but has trouble connecting with people. He goes to therapy to try to learn coping skills, but doesn't do too badly. He is upset when he gets third place at the school science fair, but eventually manages to make friends with another boy in his class who is scientifically minded. This was a pretty good book, and a good depiction of a boy with Aspberger's syndrome who learns to function gairly well, but I just found Eddy rather annoying, and wanted this to be slightly more amu
sing than it ended up being.

Just about everything in the library is packed up. Since it is the last day of school for students, I'll be moving computers and equipment out, and tomorrow the custodial crew comes to move things to the cafeteria. At left is a picture of the carpet that they will be installing. The shelves will be wood-look laminate, and I don't think that that chair enters into the equation! Construction starts on Thursday, and is supposed to be completed before the beginning of August!

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