Friday, July 22, 2011

Guy Friday: Skateboarding Guys

Tony Hawk's 900 Revolution Series

Release date 8/1/11; eARC received from

Lemke, Donnie. Drop In: Volume 1
Omar Grebes lives on the West Coast and loves to skateboard. He has a friend, Tommy, who skates with him. Both of the boys miss Omar’s father, who was apparently killed in a surfing accident. The body has never been found. After meeting Neelu, a cute skateboarding girl, Omar gets a card from Revolution, a company that he thinks is going to sponsor his skating. When he goes to the shop, he finds an odd piece of wood with magical powers in a glass case. He must protect this artifact, which turns out to be a piece of the skateboard that Tony Hawk was riding when he completed a 900 degree flip in 1999. This flip somehow opened a portal into another world and released powers. Did Omar's father know about this? What does Tommy know about his death? Omar has to keep the fragment safe, but whom can he trust?

Strengths: Obviously: Skateboarding. Tony Hawk. All big draws.

Weaknesses: After the fish taco incident in the first chapter, I didn't like Omar; students will not mind that. The cover would have been better without the cartoon-- I know it looks like manga, but a photo would have been better, because my 8th graders may be reluctant to pick this up. I also had some problem with the fantasy aspect of this-- it wasn't what I was expecting, and detracted from the skateboarding culture, which is what my readers want.

Sherman, M. Zachary. Impulse: Volume 2
Dylan (known as Slider) survives life in foster care in New York City with the help of his older “brother” Mikey and his friend Juliet. When Mikey is followed at the mall by a creepy looking group of Goth kids and gives Slider a key, Slider is concerned, but when he returns home to find out that his foster parents are in the hospital and Mikey has all been injured, he knows that something is wrong. He and Juliet take the key to the skating rink, where they find a box in a locker. The box contains part of a battered skateboard that imbues Slider with amazing skateboarding powers. The Goth kids also want this, so while he doesn't want to trust anyone, Slider relies on Case, a cop and former skateboarder, and joins up with the Revolution group, meeting Omar at the end of the book.
Strengths: I liked Dylan much better, and this has more action packed skateboarding scenes than the first book. Sherman also did the very nice Bloodlines series, and has written book 3 and 4 (Banshee and Unchained) of the Tony Hawk series.

Weaknesses: Since these are not trade books, they will set you back about $19 each. Ouch. Have to really think about these. I do wish the first book were not so much Omar and the Magic Skateboard because the second book was quite good in spite of the fantasy.

And yes, it's blisteringly hot here in Ohio. Nothing like looking at the alarm clock at 5:30 and seeing that it is 87 degrees in the house! Still, working toward my goals:
1. 74 Miles (26 to go. Sigh.) 2. 66 books (4 to go) 3. 52 quilt tops (Made my goal! Hooray!)

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