Friday, August 07, 2020

Guy Friday- Get Me Out of Here, Kevin Durrant

McNab, Andy and Earle, Phil. Get Me Out of Here
August 4th 2020 by Scholastic Inc.
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Danny Mack has a difficult life; his father left the family, and his mother struggles to put food on the table for him and his brother, Dylan, who is 18 and looking into joining the military. Dylan is also very cruel to Danny. When Danny's school offers a trip to Wild Out, an adventure camp, Danny is very interested, because he has tried his hand at free running around his neighborhood. However, the trip costs $150. He tries to earn the money by giving hair cuts to neighbor children, walking dogs, and other endeavors, but they all end poorly. He does end up with the cost, but when he is ready to turn the money into his understanding teacher, he has to refund some of it to angry mothers of the boys to whom he has given haircut. Luckily, his teacher spots him the small difference. Soon, he is off to camp with his friends... and his brother Dylan, who is chosen as an emergency counselor after a teacher can't make it. The camp is very primitive, with tents the students have to set up themselves, food they must get, and no toilet paper. The main guide is an older woman who owns the camp, and Danny has his doubts about her skills until he and his friends are off on the outdoor adventure and run into difficulties. Will they all survive and be able to make it back?
Strengths: I love McNab's Traitor (2005), which is an awesome spy series that still circulates very well. The idea of a wilderness adventure camp is a great setting for a middle grade novel, and there are some humorous events as well. The illustrations will make this appealing to readers who like notebook novels.
Weaknesses: This is clearly British, even though attempts are made at Americanizing it. If someone "hoovers" in the first chapter, it's British! Also, Dylan is destructively mean to Danny. Giving someone stinging nettles for toilet paper and endangering him on a survival course? Not okay.
What I really think: I am conflicted about this one. Younger readers will find it funnier than I did. There's also a cultural difference; the British seem to enjoy depictions of evil relatives more than US readers do. Had its moments, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked because of the cruelty.

Wetzel, Dan. Kevin Durant (Epic Athletes)
August 4th 2020 by Henry Holt & Company
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

My long standing purchasing policy for biographies is to wait until the person is deceased, thanks to a 1985 biography of Michael Jackson that I had to weed. I do make some exceptions for athletes, and have bought some of the Matt Christopher "On the Court" titles, as well as these Epic Athletes books. Kevin Durant is only 31, however, and still playing. The other books in this series usually involve people who might still be alive but whose careers playing sports are over. Durant's story is inspiring, but I'm still debating, especially with current budget concerns and the fact that as of this writing (3/29/20) I have 1,400 books checked out that may or may not be returned to the library! (By 8/7/20 that number has gone down to 550 after drop offs.)

Great book; essential for public libraries; will be very popular. I just might wait to buy it.

In Epic Athletes: Kevin Durant, award-winning sports journalist Dan Wetzel tells the inspirational true-life story of an NBA superstar in this thrilling biography for young readers!

Featuring comic-style illustrations by Marcelo Baez!

In 2016, Kevin Durant shocked the basketball world when he decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors. Many questioned why one of the league's best players would join a team that was already stacked with talent--didn't he want to make a name for himself as the sole leader of a team?

Kevin would have the last laugh, winning two championships and putting to rest any questions about his incredible legacy. In choosing to tune out the noise, he instead set his sights on success, maintaining the same winning attitude that has helped him achieve and overcome ever since he was kid. Even after his father abandoned the family when he was a young boy, when he was told he was too skinny to make an impact in the NBA, Kevin ignored the critics and forged his own path to victory.

Filled with sports action and comic-style illustrations, this inspiring biography recaps the life of one of the most talented scorers in NBA history.

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