Wednesday, May 29, 2013

For Kids

1.   Middle School: Get Me Out of Here by James Patterson.  Book two.
I had a great time reading this book, it has all of the right ingredients to engage and retain a kid’s interest and attention.  Illustrations are frequent, cleanly drawn and very funny.  They do a good job of supporting and supplementing the written story.  It is part of a series which I look forward to reading  because the protagonist’s coming of age story is pretty interesting.  I'd like to see what comes next.

2. Hold Fast by Blue Balliet.

A really engaging and intricate story.  This is my first book by Blue Balliet  and I look forward to reading whatever else this author has written.  I always like a book with a strong female character in it and I wasn’t disappointed with our female protagonist.  I’ve got to admit,  a few things don’t quite make a lot of sense and I wouldn’t recommend this book to just any kid.  They would have to have some staying power, and some patience to read this book.  It all makes sense at the end though and the journey is worth it. 

3.  Poison Most Vial by Benedict Carey.

When I was a kid I couldn’t get enough of mysteries.  I read them all, The Three Investigators, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, even a little Trixie Belden.  Kids these days (or at least in the library where I work) are not interested in reading mystery, which is really too bad, because over the years I have been buying some pretty good ones (The Westing Game, The Graveyard Book, Who Stole Halloween?)Poison Most Vial by Benedict Carey will be added to the collection.  Not only are the characters likeable, funny and relevant to today’s culture, the story was easy enough to understand and possibly a good story to cut one’s teeth on if this was your first mystery. 

4. Starring Jules (as Herself) by Beth Ain.

Jules Bloom is extremely loveable and very charming.  I like her a lot because she represents to me how a little girl ought to be.  Her sense of style is unique and very much an indication of her personality.  She isn’t a carbon copy Barbie doll, and stands out  from the other kids.  This book gives a very positive message to young girls about how they should try to be themselves and not what everyone else says they should be.  In an age where popular role models are not the best examples, and there is pressure to conform to what is perceived as the status quo, Staring Jules (as Herself) gives a clear strong message that every young girl should read.

5. Dear Know It All:  Set the Record Straight by Rachel Wise.

Over the years I have been concerned with how girls are portrayed in books, especially when I see so many 'barbies'out there who seem to worry more about how they look and who they are seen with,  what lip gloss they are wearing etc., they seem like little shallow pools and I feel sorrow for our future...  a little dramatic, I know, but since I was never a barbie, I can't understand them and have no use for them.

Which is why I loved this book!  Our protagonist Sam is a great girl.  The kind I would like all girls to aspire to.  She's smart, caring, and interested in her world.  An all round good role model for girls. 

 We are introduced to two concepts, activism and cyber-bullying,  and both were addressed in such a way that it would be helpful for those kids who don't know what to do, or have never felt brave enough to do anything about something that bothers them or issues that they care about

As a middle school book with something to teach, it doesn't come over preachy or as a lecture, and is good fun to read, because it's all about normal everyday girls who have normal everyday issues. 

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