Monday, April 26, 2010


My Best Friend, the Atlantic Ocean, and Other Great Bodies Standing Between Me and My Life with Giulio, by Jane Harrington.  I'm kind of put off by super-long titles like this.  I picked it because it has "Atlantic Ocean" in the title and I was hoping it would work out to tie in to my SRP booktalks.  Unfortunately, the ocean doesn't really come up at all.  Fortunately, it is still a pretty cool book, and I'll definitely booktalk it to middleschoolers in the fall.  It's very like the Georgia Nicholson series, only better. (!)  It's in journal format, but it is very clear when, why, and how frequently the character is journaling, so there's no confusion about when things are happening.  Although the writing style does reflect to some degree how t(w)eens talk ("u r," etc., from transcribed text messages are reproduced, the character writes "...-type thing" and "thingy," etc.) the sentences are pretty much all actual complete sentences, with no purposeful misspellings or obviously incorrect word errors: the character misuses a few words, but she's not the brightest crayon in the box, they are pretty tough words, and it only happens a few times, so it makes the journal seem more real; it doesn't make it seem like the writer is trying to affect a style she's uncomfortable with.
It's a good book; not for every teen, but if you've got readers who like to read a few books a year beyond Twilight, this would be an easy sell.

Glacial Period, by Nicolas De Crecy.    I'm intrigued more by the idea of this book than by the comics or story themselves.    This is a part of a 4-installment set commissioned by the Louvre; we have 2, I just ordered the 3rd, and I'll be keeping an eye out for the fourth.  The story was ok, but it needed to be a little bit longer, to explore more detail and give more background; it was a little bit lacking.  I didn't totally love the illustrations, but I was interested, because they are pencil and watercolor, which I don't think of as being a good combo for graphic novels.
I could totally see kids who actually like art and graphic novels getting in to this-- it's not for people who "like" graphic novels because they are popular and/or edgy, but older high-schoolers and younger (actual) adults who are a little bit arty, a little bit literary, would be intrigued.

Witches Abroad, by Terry Pratchett.    This reminded me alot of some of the themes present in Mercedes Lackey's 500 Kingdoms series (specifically, in Fortune's Fool).  (I may have to read those again.)  It is interesting to see a slightly different take on the idea: Lackey's characters take advantage of the power of the narrative tale, use it when it suits, and try to slip under the radar; Granny is 100% willpower and tries to break the chain of the story.  Hmm.

1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

I'll have to try Giulio and see if the format is annoying-- sounds like fun!