Sunday, December 30, 2007

Beastly by Alex Flinn


This past weekend I finished reading Beastly by Alex Flinn
Her re-telling of the Beauty & the Beast story was mentioned earlier this month when I attended a fantastic young adult literature seminar. That day there were dozens of books mentioned but this one grabbed my attention because I've always liked the Disney version. (I know, I know...the caricatured version of men and women are just over the top!) because it features a young woman who likes to read so much that she walks through the village with her nose in a book!

Anyway, back to Alex Flinn's title. I put it on hold and the day it came in, I was able to start on it and my attention was diverted immediately. I was drawn into the story of the handsome and wealthy Kyle Kingsbury and how when he insults a Goth girl in his school, it appears he has made an egregious error when he wakes the next day as a beast!

She gives him two years to find love or he stays forever as a beast! Money certainly helps the suffering because when Kyle's dad exiles him to Brooklyn, he has every amenity including a blind tutor and a dedicated housekeeper who will keep her mouth shut about Kyle's disfigurement.

I've only read Diva by the same author but both books were pleasing...topical with a true teen voice in the narrative

Monday, December 03, 2007

Payton Skky: Staying Pure

This is a first for me: reading a Christian teen novel. But it's great to read about a young woman who is very strong in her convictions and that exactly describes the character Payton Skky in Stephanie Perry Moore's Payton Skky series. The book opens with Payton having to be the one with a sound mind and remind her boyfriend that wants to remain a virgin until she marries. This is tough for him to hear because he says it's getting really difficult for him to wait.

This is one of the titles that I chose to read for a Young Adult Round Table meeting next week. Linda, from the Cranston Public Library, and I made up a list of recent urban fiction titles for teens, as an alternative to some of the more mature books that the high school girls want to read.

I really hope that Payton Skky becomes popular with teens because I know a lot of them are devout Christians, so I will be interested to see how popular this series becomes here.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker

Well, I asked for and received and advance reading copy of Gym Candy by Carl Deuker which was published a few months ago. As I suspected, it was primarily a sports book. Deuker is one of the few men who write about high school guys playing sports. I have other books he has written in my collection here and I have suggested them many times to students looking for a sports novel but I had never read one myself, until now.

The young man in this story is Mick Jones and he is groomed to be a football start from a young age by a dad who got all the way to the professional football level, only to fail. So, in his son, he sees another chance.

And because of this pressure, Mick starts going to the privately owned gym his dad belongs to through his work. It's a trainer at the gym who first gives Mick steroids, also known as "gym candy." What's ironic is that Mick and his buddy both went to see the trainer together and had a bad feeling about him but it was because the boys thought he was gay and trying to touch them too much.

So, it turns out, they were correct in their suspicions, but for the wrong reason. He was as bad as a drug dealer selling marijuana when he started getting Mick to buy D-bol! And when Mick sees the awful side-effects, like the puffy nipples and the rampant acne on his chest and back, he wants to stop. And he does. For a little while.

The urge to win becomes so overwhelming that Mick returns to the trainer to get more powerful steroids which he injects and, well, I won't give away the ending but it's certainly not one of the happier books I've read lately.

If you're interested in an action-packed football story, take a look at Gym Candy or if you want to read about another sport, try something else by Carl Deuker.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Town Boy by Lat


Right now I'm reading the second book published in the U.S. by Lat. This continues the author's story as his family moves to town and he progresses through school in Malaysia. It's really a neat story because it's set in a different part of the world. And the artwork is fun. The pictures seem simple but there is a lot going on in them and I like how he captures life during this time period.

I've read Lat's first book to be published here, "Kampung Boy" earlier this year when I was trying to read lots of off-beat graphic novels for a presentation. This one is different and it won't easily find an audience but those who do find it will be glad they did!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Confessions of a Blabbermouth


Just finished reading Confessions of a Blabbermouth latest graphic novel from Minx.

This book is written by the father/daughter writing team of Mike and Louise Carey. It's illustrated by Aaron Alexovich.

The story revolves around Tasha, a dedicated blogger, who has issues with her mom's new boyfriend. And, as it turns out, her negative feelings about him turn out to be totally true. That's all I will reveal about the plot. Suffice it to say that Tasha, her mom, boyfriend Jed and his daughter all go to the Grand Canyon from England and Tasha ends up being an editor of her school's yearbook, against her will. So lots going on and a story that lends itself to the graphic novel format, in my opinion.

Take a look at it. I think you'll enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Reading for work and pleasure

Well, as always, I have too many books that I want to read and a few that I need to read but don't want to...it's a dilemma, to be sure but I am currently trying to read "Tips of Having a Gay (Ex) Boyfriend" by Carrie Jones. So far it's just not pulling me in so I may try to get one of my regulars in the Teen Zone, like Chris P. to give it a go and then try again.

On my own time I am enjoying "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict" by Laura Viera Rigler. My library didn't own this title so I borrowed it from another library and when I just checked the spelling of the author's last name, I saw that there are a bunch of holds on it right now so I better get going. This story is interesting because it takes a 21st century woman and puts her into Regency England but she doesn't know how she got there!

When she mentions that daily bathing is a sponge bath and a full tub bath is only once a week, it makes me glad that I do not live in Austen's time because I love taking showers every day!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

You know, it's strange that after being the teen librarian for nearly 4 years, there are still books that are requested and read over and over again by teens that I have not read myself. One of those is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. This book is about a girl who calls the police on the other kids at a summer party thus beginning the school year as an outcast. What no one knows is that on that night she was raped and now she can barely speak to anyone.

Well, the main character in Anderson's newest novel is Tyler Miller, who decided to make his mark on his high school by spray painting graffiti on it. But, of course, he got caught and had to do community service and check in with a parole officer. As if things couldn't get worse, he is forced to attend a party at the home of his father's boss and while there, a boy who constantly picks on him, hits him on the back so hard that he knocks over a full tray of glasses, making a huge mess and injuring the jerk's beautiful sister, Bethany, whom Tyler yearns for.

Later in the story Tyler is at a party with Bethany who gets drunk and he does the right thing by not taking advantage of her. Unfortunately, someone else at the party does by taking pix of her naked and making everyone think Tyler did it!

The story could happen to anyone and it is cautionary tale for people to make better choices before their choices are made for them.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Teen Sumer Reading is great!

Well, as of right now, there are 31 students who have written reviews of a book they have read this summer for school reading or pleasure. And each one has been given the choice of choosing a new book or another small prize. AND each week we've given away a gift card or two to a local store so it's a totally "win-win" situation for everyone!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hero by Perry Moore

So what I've been doing is looking at the advance review copies of books I picked up at Book Expo America and trying to read the ones that are being released soonest. So, even though the book "Hero" by Perry Moore isn't released until September 1st, I read it and finished it yesterday primarily so I could pass it on to a librarian friend.

The premise for "Hero" is that our main character, Thom Creed is a gay high school student who lives with his dad who is a fallen superhero. They are alone since the mom left and hasn't been seen in years. But Thom has powers of his own and is asked to join the League. So he tries out for the squad without his dad knowing.

It takes a long time to find out why the dad was kicked out of the league of heroes and why the mom left. The story runs to about 423 pages which is surprising for a teen novel. But it doesn't take long to realize the author is an avid reader of comics and the story line borrows from fact and fiction.

I won't say anything else about this book but it made me think about people keeping secrets and why they need to keep them.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Wow. This was quite a story. It's an autobiographical novel. The writer, Sherman Alexie, is best known for his collection of short stories entitled The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven which I haven't read but has been on school reading lists for years. The film Smoke Signals, released in 1998, was based on one of those short stories.

So, now he comes out with a young adult novel and it's fantastic. It details one year in the life of Arnold "Junior" Spirit, a Spokane Indian, who wants to improve himself by leaving the reservation to attend an all-white high school.

This book has funny parts and some extremely sad parts too: Arnold experiences more death in a year than many of us deal with in a lifetime.

This book gives me pause and makes me think about yet another group of Americans who have been treated badly: Native Americans. It's so upsetting to think that they are mocked and treated as second class citizens in some parts of the country. This book is definitely one that I will suggest a lot once it's published in September.

The main character draws a lot and this quotation was one that I found enlightening:

"I draw because words are too unpredictable.
" I draw because words are too limited.
If you speak and write in English, or Spanish, or Chinese, or any other language, then only a certain percentage of human beings will get your meaning.
But when you draw a picture, everybody can understand it.
So I draw because I want to talk to the world. And I want the world to pay attention to me.

Makes me want to draw.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac

About a week ago, a teen girl asked me if there were more books by Gabrielle Zevin. Unfortunately I only had the one she had already read but I told her that I got an advance copy of her newest book which comes out in September and that if she asked me next time she was in, I would give that to her to read and she could review it for me.

Well, I started reading it and really got intrigued because it's a well-written teen novel that deals with a lot of issues: infidelity, divorce, remarriage, sex and trust. The story begins with the main character, Naomi, having slipped and fallen on the steps of her school. The result is a slight concussion and amnesia, but not of her whole life but just the past four years.

In other words, she doesn't remember why she liked her boyfriend and that her parents are divorced or why that happened. But she begins to fall for the guy who was the first person to find her when she was unconscious but he has a past that is slowly and painstakingly revealed.

Once again, this a teen novel that adults could read and relate to and I can't wait to hear what the teen readers at my library think of it. Maybe I am just a teen at heart because even though I'm 42, I agonize along with these kids and remember all too clearly what it felt like to fit in or not fit in during high school.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Teen Summer Reading 2007

Once again, I've challenged teens, including those entering grades 6 through 12 to read and earn prizes! It's so simple. All you do is read a book and review it in a few sentences, give me that review form and then choose a new book from the drawer (or if you're totally not into books, go ahead and get a few gel pens, pins or other little prizes!

So far I've had a good number of kids who have been busily reading since school was dismissed a week and a half ago. Of course I've been diligently reading too. Just this evening I finished reading What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones. This one was published in 2001 and it's a novel in verse (which means it's all poems) told from the point of view of Sophie, a high school student, who confides about friends and boyfriends, even chatting with a stranger online! The reason why I read this one was that I had just last week read the follow-up book, entitled What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know which continues the story from Robin, the boy she likes, point of view.

Both stories are set in Cambridge, Massachusetts and include a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, where I went for the first time last summer and thought it was amazing. Just like both of these books. Now I can see why the first book is rarely on the shelf!

Friday, June 22, 2007

What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones

On Tuesday night while showing Ghost Rider for Teen Movie Night, I started reading What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones and I could not put it down!

Just a really good story about what happens when a guy and a girl get together but she's popular and he's not so her reputation plummets and he keeps getting teased. The only place he finds happines is with his girlfriend or in a college art class he audits. Of course the college kids don't realize he is a high school freshman so they include him in their outings after class and for a change he doesn't feel like an outcast.

Of course he doesn't feel like an outcast with Sophie but it's difficult to have a good time knowing that she is ostracized by her friends because of him!

This book is a follow-up to What My Mother Doesn't Know which I have not read yet but I'm going to read it right now!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell

As my librarian friend Jen and I drove to New York City for Book Expo America the weekend before last, she told me about a book she read called Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell. Even though she works in a library, as I do, she bought the book because she thought it looked so good.

Well, wouldn't you know it that we ran into the author at BEA! We went to the Scholastic area hoping to get a Harry Potter book bag but they were all out. In the meantime, Jen's eyes spot the beautiful Lisa Ann standing to the side, talking with another woman who turns out to be Aimee Friedman, another editor/writer!

We chatted with both women and we both got Lisa Ann to sign her new book. Over the weekend I started reading it and it's amazing how quickly I became immersed in the story. It's a verse novel set in the time of King Arthur told from the point of view of the Lady of Shallot.

Anyone who loves a beautifully written story, especially those who are fascinated with the Arthurian legends, should definitely take a look at Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Y the Last Man: Motherland

Once again, a new book saves the day for me. Earlier today I went into Tech Services and saw that the newest Brian K. Vaughan Y the Last Man book had been processed and was ready to go out. So I snagged it and immediately began reading it.

These books are engrossing and bring me into a whole 'nother world that I hope I never have to live in...one where there are no men! Haha. Well, the premise of the books is that all the men on earth have been exterminated via a plague...or have they?

If you like edgy graphic novels, take a look at this series. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Beige by Cecil Castellucci

The week I was on vacation, I read Cecil Castellucci's novel, Beige.

This one was a home run with me. I could not put it down. She really drew me into Katy's world...a 15 year old who has spent her entire life with her mom and ends up spending the summer with her dad, a punk rocker who is trying to make a comeback. It's set in L.A. and there are lots of references to bands that I know so that made it fun for me as well. In fact, each chapter is the title of a different song and the band who performs it.

Even if you're not into music, you will still like this book. And if you don't like novels, check out Cecil's new graphic novel, The Plain Janes which I also just got into the Teen Zone!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Demonkeeper by Royce Buckingham

Ok, this one is certainly intriguing...a boy who is in charge of a house full of various creatures including a beast in the basement who escapes! Nat is a good kid who has no friends but when the junior assistant librarian decides to be adventurous and give him her phone number, he goes on his first date...which leads to disaster!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman

Since yesterday morning, I have been listening to the audiobook of Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman because I'll be joining Bill Clarke's class at Blackstone Academy on Monday to begin a series of discussions about the book. Last year when we discussed another book, I brought in the audiobook and it was a great way to get the class interested in the book so we decided to try that approach again.

Back to Stuck in Neutral, this book is told from the point of view of Shawn McDaniel, a 14 year old boy who has cerebral palsy which means he can't walk, talk, or communicate in any way. But we're let into his mind as he tells the story because he can hear what is being said and remember it all in vivid detail.

It's a book that is sure to give us LOTS to discuss, I predict.

As for other books by Terry Trueman, last year I picked up an advance copy of No Right Turn which was a very different story than this one. In that book the main character is a high school student dealing with his dad's suicide and the man his mom begins dating who owns a beautiful car that he covets.

Lots of students, especially boys like Trueman's books so I would definitely suggest giving them a try if you're looking for something to read.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

So I've spent my morning at my desk and there are bunches of email postings to the Graphic Novels in Libraries listserv and it made me realize that I had never blogged here about The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg. When I talk about this book I usually just mention Cecil because she is known as a teen novel writer but this time she is coming out with something new...a graphic novel! It's the first one in a new line of books called Minx put out by DC Comics.

Plain Janes comes out next month but I was lucky enough to see an advance copy at NY Comic Con so that was fun. The book is good and the kids I've shown it to in the Teen Zone have liked it as well. Check out the website and everything because it's very cool!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Jack of Fables: The (Nearly) Great Escape

Because I get word of new books coming out so early, I really get excited when the books finally come into the library and among my favorites of course, are the graphic novels by Bill Willingham. He has writen a great series called "Fables" which I absolutely adore and I'm grateful that a co-worker discovered these and told me about them. Now he has spun off the character of Jack into his own series. Of course I'm not a hardcore fan who reads the comic books when they come out each week, I wait until they are collected in the graphic novel and read them from the library but he is so clever with using these commonly known fairy tale characters and giving them back stories and present day adventures in New York City.

In February when I went to NY Comic Con, I got some bookmarks at the DC booth because Willingham's books are put out by Vertigo which is part of DC Comics. So now I have a Jack of Fables bookmark which shows Jack wearing a t-shirt that says "Ensemble books are for Losers" and that pretty much sums up the character of Jack. He is the Jack who went up the beanstalk and the Jack who jumped over the candlestick too.

You really have to read these. You won't regreat it.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dramarama by E. Lockhart

One of my MySpace friends is teen novelist E. Lockhart and when I saw that a new one of hers had been published, I made sure I ordered it for the library. So when Dramarama came into the library last week, I wanted to read it, especially after I read the blurb which gives the scenario as a musical theater summer camp attended by two good high school friends. My close friends and family know that I'm crazy about musical theater and I love listening to the soundtracks of shows such as Rent, Applause, Les Miserables, and Aida. So, of course, after starting the book, I had to listen to some of my Broadway musical soundtracks on CD.

Anyway, back to the book, when Sadye, who loves to dance, and Demi, her closeted and talented best friend, spend the summer at theater camp, it's a summer full of first kisses and full-on frustration, including Sadye's portrayal of a tree as part of the cast in A Midsummer's Night Dream while wearing a unitard, of all things...not a good look on a tall, thin beanpole of a girl!

Books like Lockhart's always make me remember how painful growing up can be so much of the time and yet how much fun it is too.

This book also reminds me of another recent favorite, Diva by Alex Flinn which focuses on a high school girl who attends an arts high school in her pursuit of a career as an opera singer.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Alex Unlimited Vol. 1: The Vosarak Code by Dan Jolley

Next month I'm speaking to a group of school librarians about graphic novels and manga so I've been trying to gather information from different publishers to share with them. One of the companies I contacted was Tokyopop. I asked for copies of the advance review copies of two new manga based on popular teen novels: Avalon High by Meg Cabot and The Warriors series by Erin Hunter. Not only did they send those to me with some flyers about the books but they sent me three novels that are part of a new line of books they're publishing.

The first one is Alex Unlimited Vol. 1: The Vosarak Code by Dan Jolley and it's a spy story revolving around a young woman. I haven't finished reading it yet but I'm anxious to finish reading it so I can pass it on to one of the teens I know from the library to get their feedback on it.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Twilight wins 2007 RITBA!

No big surprise that one of the favorite books of the past year has won for the 2007 RI Teen Book Award. Yes, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer was the top vote-getter and I'm excited since it's one that I've read and enjoyed. This is a book that I got as an advance reader copy in late 2005 and I wasn't planning to read it, I was about to pass it on to a student at the library when I emailed the publicist who sent it to me and she encouraged me to read it before I gave it away. As I recall, it was summer and I took the book to the beach with me and I couldn't put it down!

Today I attended the meeting where we narrow the list to 22 books from the 72 we read between September and this week. I read quite a few but not all of the nominees. Some I really liked and others were just so-so. I am pleased that two books I suggested for the list Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick and Larklight by Phillip Reeve made it to the final list today.

I offered to help out with the discussion modules for two of the titles as well so that should be interesting. I'd like to get a good start on those tomorrow. And I can finish reading a soon to be published book about the life of Helen Keller that I received via the author writing to me on MySpace!

Monday, February 26, 2007

New York Comic Con

On Thursday morning I drove to New York City with a librarian friend from RI. We were on our way to the ICv2 Graphic Novel Conference at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. The city was an easy destination without much traffic on the drive.

The conference was open to anyone with a professional interest in graphic novels so the audience was filled with retailers, librarians, reporters for trade journals and publishers. It was a lively afternoon filled with discussions about manga and its impact here in the States. Manga is a way of life in Japan. It's just how books are written. According to the industry people, people in Japan read manga if they're pregnant or play mah jong or just want a good book to read.

Unfortunately manga and graphic novels aren't as readily accepted here in the U.S. But with the recent publication of the 9/11 Commission Report as a graphic novel, maybe the tide is turning. Stop by the Teen Zone to get a bookmark or poster from Comic Con.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Buried by Robin Merrow MacCready

Right now I'm reading Buried by Robin Merrow MacCready for RI Teen Book Award consideration. By next month we will have the final 20 titles for students to vote on in 2008 and we will know which book won for favorite in 2007.

In the meantime I've been diligently reading during Teen Movie Night (sorry to say that Employee of the Month with the stellar acting of Dane Cook, Dax Shepard and Jessica Simpson didn't keep my attention as well as New Moon by Stephenie Meyer) and Club Anime at work as well as while waiting for my oil to be changed and during lunch and dinner breaks at work. (OK, truthfully, I did read through this month's InStyle magazine while in the staff room on Wednesday night...what can I say, celebrities, clothes, and parties are a pleasant distraction from life.)

Back to Buried, this is the second book I've read recently about a teen with an alcoholic parent. This time we meet Claudine and wonder how any parent can treat such a good kid the way her mother treats her! For starters, the mother has left town without telling Claude where she has gone and that's just wrong. Claudine is a good student who tries so hard to do the right thing for everyone she knows but it may not be enough to keep up with her lack of a positive parental role model.

I haven't finished this one yet but I'm trying to hurry so I can pass it on to my teen readers here.

Friday, February 02, 2007

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Just yesterday, as I was waiting in the doctor's office, I finished reading An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. Some of you may know that he won the Printz Award for excellence in young adult fiction for Looking for Alaska. Because of this and since John Green is one my MySpace author friends, I wanted to read his new one. So a few months ago I started it and I was having trouble finishing it so I gave up. Recently the title was added to the RI Teen Book Award list of titles to be considered so I got the book again and this time I finished it!

John Green's prolific use of footnotes was distracting for me but since I had just completed Drawing a Blank by Daniel Ehrenhaft, which also uses footnotes liberally, the reading went mor quickly. It may be a generational thing...kids are used to reading in a non-linear fashion, with the Japanese graphic novels, manga, which read back to front, for example.

The characters in Katherines were interesting. Two friends, Colin and Hassan, set out on a road trip from Chicago and get as far as Gutshot, Tennesee. They get offered summer jobs and decide to stay and work. Colin is a guy who has exclusively dated girls named Katherine. He inevitably gets dumped and his loyal friend Hassan is there to listen to his stories.

But as the summer progresses, the two friends start to re-examine their lives and their friendship.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Harlem Hustle by Janet McDonald

Just as the nominations for the 2008 Rhode Island Teen Book Awards were closing, I picked up Harlem Hustle by Janet McDonald to add to the list. Her previous books have all been well-liked by most teens. Previously I've read Brother Hood which I liked and this one didn't disappoint.

The story of Eric Samson, a would-be rapper who just spent time in juvenile detention and doesn't plan to return has to figure out what to do with his life. His parents are long gone and he is living off the kindness of his friend's family. Clearly Hustle, as he likes to be called, is trying to do the right thing but it's so tempting to go back to stealing.

That is, until he starts to get serious about his writing. He begins working on his rhymes wherever he goes and finally things start to fall into place for him.

Monday, January 08, 2007

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

I started out on a road trip to New Hampshire yesterday with the audiobook of New Moon by Stephenie Meyer in the CD player. I had forgotten how strong the characters created by the author are and the romantic relationship between Bella, a high school senior who has just turned 18, and her boyfriend, Edward.

He is a bit older than her, um, maybe a hundred years older but since he's a vampire, no one can tell. Yes, falling in love with a vampire is tough on a girl. People always talk about the differences between men and women well, the Mars & Venus comparison is nothing when you think about the fact that she is human, for example, and he is immortal!

Everyone I know who read Meyer's first book Twilight absolutely fell in love with these characters so I'm guessing the sequel is just as strong. Even if you're like me and you've never been into vampire stories, all I can say is: Read this book!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

To Sir, With Love by E.R. Braithwaite

When my oldest son was a junior in high school taking British Literature, he had to read To Sir, With Love by E.R. Braithwaite. All I knew about this book was that a movie had been made based on, along with the film's ubiquitous title song, sung by Lulu.

The book is based on the life of the author who as an unemployed engineer takes a job at a tough school in London's East End. After losing his temper at the students one day, he returns with a different approach, he insists they treat him with respect and he will do the same for them. Although the film with its music and clothes makes the story seem very dated, it's a pretty timeless tale and one that was retold by author Frank McCourt in the third installment of his life story entitled Teacher Man. McCourt tells about teaching in a vocational high school in NY in the 1950s so it's a close parallel to Braithwaite's story.

Last night we watched the movie and were struck by the fact that the title song is used not once, not twice, but three times in the film! Seems a bit excessive but it was a different time and place, I s'pose.