Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Don't Let the Curmudgeon Read a Book

School has started, so of course I'm reading about information design, and reflecting over the my life as an MLS student.

But more importantly, we have the metrowide Librarian's Read Challenge. We read YA and J titles, fiction or non-fiction, keep track of them and the pages. The person with the most pages read gets a prize and the branch with the most pages read gets to keep the Cat-in-the-Hat trophy for a year. And the system with the most pages read gets our admiration and envy!

The Newbery Award winner by Lynne Rae Perkins, Criss Cross was much more enjoyable than I thought it would be. It's about people, who happen to be teenagers, on the cusp of events. A girl,Debbie and a boy, Hector who like other people (like, like) but you're rooting for them to like (like, like) each other.It's like examining what happens in the moment before something actually happens. Really good--except for the illustrations. I think they're hokey.

Scott Westerfield's So Yesterday, on the other hand had nothing hokey about it. The aptly named Hunter is a "cool hunter." He meets a creative girl, Jen (an Innovator), intrigued by her shoelaces and the two of them join forces to find Hunter's missing boss. In the process, they uncover a plot by some of the coolest people in the world--people who threaten to topple the world of consumer market and Cool itself.

Funny, snarky, strong teen voice and character and absolutely wonderful on-target portrayals of New York.

Just to see what all the fuss is about, I've read one of "The Clique" novels by Lisi Harrison. Invasion of the Boy Snatchers is okay. I wouldn't condemn it, but I wouldn't recommend it. Perhaps because it's not the first in the series, it didn't hold my attention. And yeah, the characters seem shallow and uninteresting.
I see why kids like it. Brand name-dropping. Romantic tension. The typical middle school angst compounded with the lives of the wealthy. Gee--their problems are just as bad. If not worse.

Too bad the writing and editing, you should pardon the expression, sucks.

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