Sunday, June 18, 2017


Ten: A Soccer Story by [Flint, Shamini]Flint, Shamini. Ten.
June 20th 2017 by Clarion Books (first published 2009)
ARC from publisher at ALA

Growing up in Malaysia in the 1980s, Maya desperately wants to play soccer, but it's not something that girls do. She must content herself with watching teams on television and fantasizing about meeting the great Zico. She and her brother, Rajiv, are worried because their parents fight a lot. Life in their household is very stressful; their father, who is English, has trouble keeping a business afloat. Their grandmother is very critical of her daughter, their mother, who does her best to keep things together. Maya is also one of the few children of Indian origin in her school. She manages to get a team together and enjoys playing with her friends, but when her parents decide to get divorced, and her father moves back to England, she feels like a grand gesture might make her family whole again.
Strengths: I love books set in other countries that talk about what daily life is like. Maya is an interesting character; since I don't watch sports, it was a little hard for me to understand how she could think she could be a soccer star when she didn't even play, but I loved how she was able to get a start on her dreams by working really hard at being allowed to play soccer, getting the equipment, rallying players, etc. Hopefully, it will make players in the US who read this feel grateful for the opportunities they have!
Weaknesses: I understand that this is set in the 1980s because it is largely autobiographical, but I wish it had been contemporary.
What I really think: Will definitely purchase this for the soccer content, as well as the great depiction of life in another country.

I used to love to read YA and MG romance books, but since I have become more and more like a 12-year-old boy in my reading habits, I find that unless they are like Heldring's The Footbal Girl, I don't have much interest in them. YA romance especially has so much drama, and I'm done with drama. Who cares? Move on. Go to college. Get a life. Save the world. Think about something other than boys.

So, I'm not the best person to opine about these two, but here we go.

Smith, Jennifer E. Windfall.
Published May 2nd 2017 by Delacorte Press
Public Library Copy

Will buy this one, since 8th grade girls still have souls that have not been shrunk in the dryer.

"Alice doesn't believe in luck--at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she's been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday--just when it seems they might be on the brink of something--she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes. At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune... But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy's newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall."--Provided by publisher.

Dessen, Sarah. Once and For All
June 6th 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Public Library Copy

I usually love Dessen's work, but this had the f-word early on, teen drinking, and a deceased former boyfriend. Add to that the wedding planning theme (which doesn't do well with my students), and I think I'll pass on this one. Pleasant enough, although I also had trouble envisioning a girl younger than my daughter having hippie vegan parents. Most people about my age were just trying to keep employment in 1999; alternative lifestyles were not really a big thing.

" Is it really better to have loved and lost? Louna's summer job is to help brides plan their perfect day, even though she stopped believing in happily-ever-after when her first love ended tragically. But charming girl-magnet Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged now that he's met the one he really wants. Maybe Louna's second chance is standing right in front of her." --Provided by publisher

  Ms. Yingling

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:21 PM EDT

    I totally understand your feelings over YA romance. So many things other than boys to focus on. Thanks for your honest reviews!
    - Vi