Monday, March 07, 2011

and now 7th grade.

The day after I did 6th grade booktalks, I got an email from the 7th grade teacher to schedule more of the same.  Excellent, because the library has never worked with this grade's teachers before.  So I'm back to the task of finding another 20 books I can sell to 250 13-year-olds.  Most of the books below will be promoted tomorrow to the kiddies.

The Recruit, (Cherub: Mission 2:) The Dealer and Maximum Security, by Robert Muchamore.  I am so buying the rest of this series; it's fantastic.  I was expecting something more along the lines of N.E.R.D.S. and Squad, fast paced, big on Jame Bond-ish technology, etc., but this is, well, not slow exactly, but it really focuses on the characters.  There is action, but it isn't the driving purpose of the book.  Every library needs this series.  And that's not a sentence I throw around lightly.
The only down side is that there are a few typos, or maybe the author wasn't sure which word to use and picked the wrong one.  Distracting to me, but probably not something that's going to be noticed by the average reader.

Fakie, by Tony Varrato.  Also a must-have.  I'd put this in sorta the hi-lo category; it was a really great read, easy to get through but suspenseful.  I read it in about 4 hours.  This is one of the best books I've read in a while-- great prose, intriguing characters, fast paced.

Alien Invasion & Other Inconveniences, by Brian Yansky.  Readers familiar with post-apocalyptic books won't find much new here; it felt alot like Gone and Host.  It wasn't bad, and it did move along pretty fast, but it's hardly groundbreaking.

Guinness World Records: The Videogame (for Wii), by Warner Brothers.  We played this at last week's Library Arcade.  It's for up to 4 players and feeds off their competitive natures.  They were queuing up to play.

Three Cups of Tea (The Young Reader's Edition), by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin; adapted by Sarah Thomson.  I stopped reading on page 13.  I know this is supposed to be a great story, but a guy who lost twice on one mountain gets no sympathy from me.  Further, the writing feels dumbed down a lot, which I think will be obvious to young readers, and the bolded words and glossary are probably unnecessary.  Outside of the classroom, what kid is going to stop reading to look up definitions?

The Plain Janes, by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg.  I had trouble following the story in places, but that's typical for me and graphic novels.  I often feel like I've skipped a whole page between two cells.
I liked the idea that a story based around art is told in black and white.  I think the art bombing will appeal to kids.

Wild Magic, by Tamora Pierce.    I don't normally like this author, but this round of booktalks is definitely skewed and she can balance it out a little.  I liked this book much better than the last books I read by her (the whole Protector of the Small series); the story seemed better plotted and I cared about the character more. There were a few places where the author used a modern turn of phrase that didn't jive with the book's part-fantasy-part-historical-fiction feel, but it was pretty good, and I'm even thinking about reading at least the second book in the series.

The Magnificent 12: The Call, by Michael Grant.  I read only 54 pages before deciding this wasn't for me.  If it were just the story about the main character, I think it would be pretty good, but there's this weird several thousand year flash back and I have no idea where that is going; the first one seemed to hint at something supernatural, when the realistic fiction of the main plot was working just fine for me.

Banana! by Ed Vere.  My wee reader loved this book!  Well, first, he absolutely loves bananas; others who've seen him put away 2 1/2 bananas for a snack tend to call him "monkey" as well, so I figured this book would attract him.
It's surprisingly good at conveying the story, considering the only two words throughout the book are "banana" and "please."  We must have read this a dozen time; I've finally brought it back to the library.

Shark vs. Train, by Chris Barton and Tom Lichtenheld.  I've reviewed this before.  It will always have a special place in the little reader's heart.  We do need our own copy.


Ms. Yingling said...

Alien Invasion seemed a bit too old for middle school, but since I have the Muchamore, I guess that doesn't sound very rational. Ah, well. I try. Glad you are enjoying the schools. I have Marshall's Walkabout which still circulates despite a horrid cover.

sarah said...

i got good response from some of the kids on alien invasion, but others were totally not into it; it was a pretty clear division. i was surprised at the amount of positive response to host.
that is a horrid cover on walkabout; we don't have it, but i can see it being popular. (i know i'd like it.)