Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Unforgotten Coat

Boyce, Frank Cottrell. The Unforgotten Coat
A number of years ago, Julie's school near Liverpool had two Mongolian students show up for classes. Chingis and Nergui refuse to be separated, since Chingis is watching out for his younger brother. The two have their heavy coats from Mongolia, and a series of Polaroid pictures detailing their life there. Chingis claims that a demon is after his brother, but the class soon finds out that the family has more to fear from immigration officials. After the family is sent back to their country, the brothers' plight stays with Julie, until one day she looks them up online. Based on the true story of a student Boyce encountered during a school visit.
Strengths: A teacher recently asked me to put together a reading list with books about immigration-- this would be perfect. Can't say, though, that we have many Mongolian immigrants here in the US!
Weaknesses: The interior format of typing on notebook paper is a little unnerving.

Soto, Gary. Hey, 13!
From the description:
"Being thirteen is happy, sad, humiliating, surprising, wonderful, awful, exciting, boring, in other words full of ups and downs. The thirteen-year-olds in Gary Soto's thirteen stories experience all this and more.

In one story, a girl's world is turned upside down when she visits a college campus where she expects to find a rarefied atmosphere of intellectual pursuit, only to meet a tour guide who is tattooed, overly pierced, hungover, and not at all focused on academics. In another, two girls test the attraction of their new bodies by flirting with boys at a mall and then find themselves in an uncomfortable and somewhat frightening situation."

I am woefully bad at synopsizing books of short stories, but if your students like short stories (mine tend not to), this would be fun to have. Is Tiger Beat still published? That's what this cover looks like to me. I was hoping for something with the appeal of Mercy on These Teenage Chimps .

Last cross country meet of the season, then repairing the vast damage to my household and obtaining groceries this weekend (and, apparently, Halloween costumes) before hurling myself headlong into Cybils reading. May not be posting until Monday. My dining room table ... it's bad!

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