Monday, January 27, 2003

Fantasy Novel

Nancy Farmer, The Ear, the Eye and the Arm, Orchard Books, 1994

Source: Newbery Honor 1995

Quality: Very engaging and original story set in Africa.

Potential Use: curriculum support, free voluntary reading

Child Appeal: A great adventure that mixes futuristic fantasy with African folk culture
Historical Novel

Karen Hesse, Witness, Scholastic, 2001

Source: ALSC Notable Book 2002

Age Range: 10 and up

Quality: very moving, personal narrative poetry

Potential Use: curriculum support, book talk

Child Appeal: older, historically-minded children
Contemporary Realistic Novel

Virginia Walter, Making Up Megaboy, Katrina Roeckelein, DK Ink, 1998

Source: ALSC Notable Book 1999

Age Range: 8-13

Quality: Writing is good. Good use of different viewpoints and graphics.

Potential Use: classroom discussion, free voluntary reading

Child Appeal: characters are real and engaging. Graphics draw you in.
Contemporary Realistic Novel

Jack Gantos, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1998

Source: ALSC Notable Book 1999

Age Range: 9-12

Quality: Realistic first-person narrative. Writing style really captures the main character's personality.

Potential Use: free voluntary reading, discussion of attention disorders

Child Appeal: fast-paced, engaging, likable character
Contemporary Realistic Novel

Angela Johnson, Heaven, Simon & Schuster, 1998

Source: Coretta Scott King Award 1999

Age Range: 10-12

Quality: A nice mixture of personal narrative and correspondence

Potential Use: book talk, free voluntary reading, discussing adoption

Child Appeal: engaging story, kind of slow moving

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Her by Laura Zigman

When Elise's fiance's ex-fiancee shows up in their lives, she becomes a paranoid stalker. Will their engagement survive? Very well-written and DC references.
Sex and the Single Sister by Maryann Reid

Five novellas about single, black women in different cities. I didn't really like the writing style.
Wild Cats & Colleens by Morag Prunty

A rich Irish-american's search for an Irish wife turns Dublin upside down. Hilarious.
Girl's Poker Night by Jill A. Davis

Ruby dumps her boyfriend and moves to New York write a newspaper column about single women in the city. Unfortunately she falls for her boss. Hilarity and neurosis ensues.

Monday, January 13, 2003

A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck

When Mary Alice goes to live with her crochety old Grandma for a year during the Depression, she doesn't know how what will happen.
I also read some random Harlequin Romance novels over break.
The Handyman by Carolyn See

Bob spend the summer before art school as handyman, changing his life and the lives of his clients irrevocably. Very well-written. I loved it.
Personal Velocity by Rebecca Miller

Now a major motion picture. This collection of short stories examines the intersecting lives of seven women . Very well written.
Filthy Rich by Dorothy Samuels

When Marcy's boyfriend dumps her on national tv after she fails as his lifeline, she is thrown into fame and winds up with more than she ever hoped for.
How to be Good by Nick Hornby

Not as funny as High Fidelity but still amusing. A wife's affair sets her husband on the path to "goodness" with many twists and turns.
Ash Wednesday by Ethan Hawke

A well-written gritty love story about a soldier gone AWOL to drive his pregnant girlfriend home.
Me Times Three by Alex Witchel

A funny coming of age novel where a writer for a New York fashion magazine discovers that her fiancé is engaged to two other women.