Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Book A Day Keeps Cabin Fever Away

Well, maybe not entirely, but it does help......

The Historian - Well-written, gripping, possibly even haunting. Yet it took me FOREVER to read it. I am awed by the research and time that went into the novel - and glad I'm done reading it.

Anatomy of a Boyfriend - Well, I see why Judy Blume gets a shout-out on the dedication page. A new millennium version of Forever complete with pretty graphic sex and language. How is this being received? With the same "every teen has read it, but it's banned everywhere" as Blume's original take on the subject?

Shark Girl - I didn't expect much from this and was completely taken by surprise. The format - with letters, emails, dialogue, journal entries - is refreshing and well-suited to the tale. This is a deep and involving look at moving on from sudden and unexpected tragedy. A real find!

The Wall - First off, I adore Peter Sis. This "picture book" of his life growing up behind the Iron Curtain is astonishing for its ability to convey so much about history and the human condition in this format. For me, it was shocking to realize that at the same time that I was dancing around to the Beatles, teens in Prague were being beaten after a Beach Boys concert! An incredible accomplishment by a talented artist.

How To Get Suspended & Influence People - A so-so look at the creative and miscreant behavior of a group of 8th grade TAG students. Occasionally funny, but not a great read overall.

Going Nowhere Faster - And then a book about a misfit genius high schooler from a nutty family that is a thorough delight from start to finish. I really liked Stan and his story. Thumbs up.

Pretty Is - Younger sister of a dorky older sister worries about how she will be perceived when they are both in the same junior high school. Can't really even think of something to say about it.

Parrotfish - Ostensibly about transgender youth, this is just a good story about adolescence, self-discovery, and acceptance. I would wish this kind of acceptance and courage for all teens.

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac - I was a huge fan of Elsewhere, and I enjoyed this Zevin outing, too. Best? The examination of what is left of yourself without memories - and what is kept and what is discarded when those memories return. Lots to mull and reread.

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