Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Ninth Grade Slays, by Heather Brewer. Hmm, not so great that time. The story is still good, but I have a feeling that kids won't market this by word-of-mouth as much as some other books, and many kids won't think it's great or may not even finish it. I understand wanting to provide good male characters who are feeling and enlightened, and that this is all very difficult for Vlad, but seriously, someone is crying in nearly every scene. Yes, guys can be in touch with their emotions. But seriously? This was annoying. Not even the most prissy teen girls cry that much. Also, the writing, especially the dialogue was very stilted and not at all realistic. Educated adults barely talk like that; certainly teens don't. Yes, it's good to address problems that come up in friendships. But what teen is going to talk about "the trust we've been building?" All the bits where everyone talks about their feelings makes the book feel like a touch-feely after-school-special. Meh. A Lifetime of Secrets, compiled by Frank Warren. I found this book about a month ago when I had to review it because of damage. I threw it out, but ordered us a new one, which today arrived on my shelves, all processed and shiny. I took it to my desk today to correct the call number, but ended up looking through the whole thing. I had paged through a few secrets the first time I encountered the book, and was disturbed by how closely some of them mirrored the things I myself am afraid to express. Since then, I've been getting a weekly dose of secrets, and am never let down: some are quite funny, many are things I can relate to or feel myself, and even the saddest or strangest make me think about the strangeness that is humanity. The dude also tweets: some secrets, some news. Oo, and twitpic; this is new to me. If I ever end up in a classroom, I'm using this. I don't care what class it is or what we're supposed to be learning. Throw this at young people.

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