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.