Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Not What I Wanted Wednesday

What I wanted today were sports books, mainly football and basketball. Seriously, people. Why so many Victorian fantasy books when I am still pushing worn copies of Clair Bee and Thomas Dygard books because there is so little else? Tim Green and Carl Deuker can't write everything I need, but they are at least trying. More sports books!!! And some skateboarding ones, especially!!!

Disclaimer, again: These are all perfectly fine books, just didn't suit the needs of my students. Maybe they will suit yours. All descriptions from publishers.

Thompson, Holly. Orchards.
"Sent to Japan for the summer after an eighth-grade classmate's suicide, half-Japanese, half-Jewish Kana Goldberg tries to fit in with relatives she barely knows and reflects on the guilt she feels over the tragedy back home."
What I wanted: A multicultural problem novel.
Why it didn't work for me: Only Helen Frost is allowed to write books in verse, because she actually writes verse and not cut up prose.
Manga Maniac Cafe loved it.

Doctorow, Cory. For the Win.
"A group of teens from around the world find themselves drawn into an online revolution arranged by a mysterious young woman known as Big Sister Nor, who hopes to challenge the status quo and change the world using her virtual connections."
What I wanted: Brain Jack or similar dystopian computer novel.
Why it didn't work for me: Too many technical detail, slow start to story.
Byron Clark loved it.

Tanner, Lian. Museum of Thieves.
"Goldie, an impulsive and bold twelve-year-old, escapes the oppressive city of Jewel, where children are required to wear guardchains for their protection, and finds refuge in the extraordinary Museum of Dunt, an ever-shifting world where she discovers a useful talent for thievery and mysterious secrets that threaten her city and everyone she loves."
What I wanted: Slightly different fantasy.
Why it didn't work for me: Slow moving, odd names and situations.
The BookKids Blog loved it; The Book Aunt gave a very compete review,

Ferris, Aimee. Will Work for Prom Dress.
"Quigley Johnson, a senior in high school, agrees to participate in her best friend Ann's Betterment Plan, hoping to become the most fashionable and popular girls in school, and as Quigley works at her job making pizzas and serves as a live model for Ms. Parisi's fashion design class, she meets a cute boy named Zander. "
What I wanted: Girly, fun romance like Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress.
Why it didn't work for me: Too high school for my girls. Not inappropriate, just too much about prom, college, and money. I loved it for myself, though!
I Just Want to Sit Here and Read loved it, too.

Strasser, Todd. Famous.
"Sixteen-year-old Jamie Gordon had a taste of praise and recognition at age fourteen when her unflattering photograph of an actress was published, but as she pursues her dream of being a celebrity photographer, she becomes immersed in the dark side of fame."
What I wanted: Just to see what Strasser has come up with; celebrity book.
Why it didn't work for me: Odd format, some chapters in future tense, and therefore hard to follow.
This is so new that it's hard to find a good blog review on it. Anyone love it?

Bennett-Wealer, Sara. Rival.
"Two high school rivals compete in a prestigious singing competition while reflecting on the events that turned them from close friends to enemies the year before. "
What I wanted: Girl drama, a story with some music in it. The cover is great.
Why it didn't work for me: Too much about music; middle school singers aren't quite that much into it yet.
Books Complete Me and Book-Splot loved this one.

Voigt, Cynthia. Young Fredle.
"Fredle, a young mouse cast out of his home, faces dangers and predators outside, makes some important discoveries and allies, and learns the meaning of freedom as he struggles to return home. "
What I wanted: Saw a review by someone I really trust which I can't remember that said "It's fabulous, just read it." Can't remember who said it. Drat.
Why it didn't work for me: Talking animals. That, and I'm just now getting rid of Avi's Poppy and Rye books because they haven't been off the shelves in 8 years, as well as parts of the Tillerman series that haven't been off in 15 or more. Don't see this moving.
Journey of a Bookseller enjoyed this one.


  1. What about Tall Story and The Great Wall of Lucy Wu. Both deal with basketball a lot, while also being about multiculturalism and fitting in. Lucy Wu is exclusively from the point of a female MC, while Tall Story is back and forth between a male and female. Both are very good. (Actually, The Great of Lucy Wu is beyond very good. It is excellent.)

    I have recent reviews of both over at My Comfy Chair.

  2. I agree with Ben - The Great Wall of Lucy Wu is a great read, but everyone seems to be ignoring it.

  3. Awww, Young Fredle. I loved it. But it is too young for middle school. You said you were doubtful, but I'm glad you tried anyway. Have you read Four Seasons by Jane Breskin Zalben? I wonder if you might prefer it over Rivals. It's set at Juilliard's pre-college music school, so it's about very intense young musicians.

    Which ones do you have? I have PARANOID PARK, SKATE FREAK, and SKATE, but that's about it.