Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Slither Sisters (Tales from Lovecraft Middle School)

The Slither Sisters (Tales from Lovecraft Middle School #2)Gilman, Charles. The Slither Sisters (Tales from Lovecraft Middle School#2)
15 January 2013, Quirk Books
Copy provided by publisher

Robert is back from his adventures in Professor Gargoyle, and his school is still a portal into the alternaverse of Tillinghast mansion, where the evil Crawford Tillignhast has been caught and is summoning the Great Old Ones to take over the world. The newest victims in his scheme are the Price sisters, whose bodies have been taken over by Medusa like creatures. In order to control the middle school students, Tillinghast is having Sarah run for student body president. Robert and his friends Glenn and the ghost Karina, aided by the librarian, Ms. Lavinia, try to foil this by having Robert run, since Howard Mergler doesn't stand a chance at defeating her. The forces of evil are strong, but Robert is determined not to win. He manages to best the sisters, but a new foe emerges and will have to be battled in Teacher's Pest, coming out in May of 2013.
Strengths: Again, a cool lenticular cover, and a Goosebumps type story-- scary, but nothing real. Robert is an engaging character, and there are some helpful teachers.Fast paced story with a good bit of action. Monsters are emerging as a popular topic.
Weaknesses: Robert didn't manage to save the Price sisters, so I'm a little concerned that Tillinghast is winning this battle. I'm never a big fan of study body president plots, so I had trouble believing this was a good way to take over the world!

Saw on Twitter (thanks to Jen Robinson) that boys are perhaps reading more with e readers. (http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/kfrr?utm_source=ReadingRockets.org&utm_medium=Twitter) I am just not seeing this. I've had to have three boys put away Kindle Fires because they were playing games on them, and when I asked what books they had loaded on the devices, all they had were things like Treasure Island and other oldies but freebies. It's been very difficult for me to help students with ebooks. Databases like the one for the Ohio E Book Project are becoming a little easier to browse, but many of the students who have e readers don't even have public library cards because their parents won't take them to the library! The avid readers who have devices often have purchased a good numbers of books, but they would have read anyway. Anyone wish to opine? I still think that cost is going to be a prohibitive factor just about everywhere.


  1. Yeah, most of our families have 3-4 kids. Are they going to buy an ereader for each one of them? I THINK NOT. We're still dealing with the trauma of deleting all our vhs and cassettes, much to the anguish of our patrons. We have quite a few adults who have kindles or whatever, but they're generally people who'd read anyways (or seniors who haven't set food in the library in years and just come in to spend hours asking us quesions about how to use their device.) Our middle school librarian is really interesting in doing ipads or something, but they're a pain to try to lend out. It's taken our adult service librarian hours just to set up the devices we lend.

  2. Our school uses preloaded playaways. All you need is earbuds and if it breaks the company fixes em for you. Ours are paired with the paperback book so they can follow along.

  3. Interesting discussion on boys and e-readers.

    My 15-year old son says he hates to read (perhaps it is his way of being different and independent in a house of avid readers!), though he scores very high on reading tests. He has not read a book voluntarily (i.e. not for school) in over a year.

    We got him and his brother Kindle Fires for Christmas - I figured he would just use his for movies, TV, and games, but he surprised and bought TWO e-books before we left on our New Year's trip to visit his Grandad. His other grandpa was his inspiration - he looks up to him very much and HE reads books on his Kindle, so I think he inspired my son - he bought two nonfiction books on sailing (another of his Pop Pop's interests!) Now, we'll see whether he reads them or not, but it is a good start! I think the e-reader IS going to make reading more fun for him.


    Great Books for Kids and Teens

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  4. Anonymous10:40 AM EST

    I just found your blog and I'm excited to explore your book recommendations! My son is only in 2nd grade, so we're just entering the world of chapter books, but I'm interested in writing MG and want to do some background reading. Thanks for all the recommendations!

  5. Thanks so much for getting out the word about good books for middle schoolers. I've been teaching middle school for (gasp) 32 years, & I must say I'm screamingly pleased to see that things have changed in that time. Years ago, the gender of the protagonist was The Big Thing for boys. Now, my boys who are readers couldn't even begin caring about the protagonist's gender. This has opened up so many more books to them, plus it opens up so much more communication about books, no matter what gender the reader is.

  6. Love your blog...I have seen this book pop up all over the place...it does take a special kind of book to attract boy readers...and there are not enough out there!

  7. My son (age 14) likes his NOOK, which is the only-does-books version (at his request). So he can read it in school. He also reads paper books voraciously.

    Our library has NOOK books you can download over the internet. So the kid doesn't have to put a toe in the actual building.