Saturday, April 28, 2012

Extremely Cranky Saturday

If I had checked the following books out of the public library, I would just have gone "meh" and returned them. What disturbs me a little is that I got more than one ARC of some of them, so the publishers are putting major weight behind these titles. They will be everywhere. As always, the opinions expressed are what I feel works and doesn't work for my particular library. These may work for your. Just take a close look at them before purchasing.

Burns, T.R. The Bad Apple (Merits of Mischief)
From the Publisher:"The start of a mischievous new middle-grade series has trouble written all over it. Twelve-year-old Seamus Hinkle is a good kid with a perfect school recorduntil the day he accidently kills his substitute teacher with an apple. Seamus is immediately shipped off to a detention facilityonly to discover that Kilter Academy is actually a school to mold future Troublemakers, where demerits are awarded as a prize for bad behavior and each student is tasked to pull various pranks on their teachers in order to excel. Initially determined to avoid any more mishaps, Seamus nonetheless inadvertently emerges as a uniquely skilled troublemaker. Together with new friends Lemon and Elinor, he rises to the top of his class while beginning to discover that Kilter Academy has some major secrets and surprises in store..."

What I Liked: This author does great realistic fiction for girls under the name of Tricia Rayburn. Thoughtful, intriguing, really good.

Why This Didn't Work: There is little need for methadone for Lemony Snicket addicts-- by the time my multiple copies fall apart, the books will have had their day. I could not buy the premise of Kilter Academy at all. Perhaps it is an elementary school thing that I didn't understand?

Turnage, Sheila. Three Times Lucky.

Moses LeBeau was saved by her "upriver mother" from a storm when she was put into a basket, lucky that the Colonel found her, and lucky that Miss Lana took her in and is raising her-- even if this means that she is often left alone by the two of them for days and expected to run the town diner, where the citizens are okay with getting peanut butter concoctions and Mountain Dew as meals because they know that Mo is often left to run things. But this idyllic world could be shattered by an interloping police detective and a murder charge. Can Mo and her friend Dale Earnhardt Johnson III find the truth and save the day?

What I liked: All the cool kids read it, including Barbara Watson. Everyone seems to think this is fantastic.

Why This Didn't Work: Quirky Southern to the extreme. Blurbed by two authors whose books I could not stomach. I could not suspend disbelief long enough to think that the townspeople were okay with Mo being alone as long as she didn't use any hot applicances in the diner. None of my students ask for this sort of thing, although I had a brief hope that the murder mystery might be intriguing.


  1. I'm always shy when I don't love the books "all the cool kids" read! I've got to start putting more of that out there. I continue to think about what my students and staff will like and sometimes it's just not what others love and that's ok!

  2. Anonymous1:09 PM EDT

    speaking of blurbs - have you seen this?