Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

An interesting tale told in an original voice for the narrator--well rarely published anyway. I find many of my sixth graders write like this, using a voice that is talking directly to the readers, is very dramatic and engaging. I will say I was a bit annoyed by the self-importance of the narrator at times and the whole mystery around the SECRET, but it was, overall, an amusing book. It is about a girl who sees impending doom in everything and is determined to survive those disasters. She cries wolf a bit too often, so when a real disaster strikes, you guessed it, no one believes her. I won’t give away too much of the story, as it is, after all, a SECRET, but will say it’s a mystery that is a bit hard to imagine at times, but interesting at the same time. I think this is tailored for 4-7 grade.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Zen and the Art of Faking It by Jordan Sonnenblick

This is a story that fits well for middle school, for that is the time that many people adopt different personalities, either out of curiosity, due to stereotypes, or because of a girl/boy. This book is about a boy’s experience will all three. He falls into this personality of a Zen master and takes it as far as it will allow him. Never mind that you would think he learned his lesson watching his father scam person after person until he was finally caught and sent to jail, but perhaps that is what drives his inability to be himself. Perhaps it's true that sometimes you need to learn lessons for yourself. It’s an interesting peek into middle school personalities but is a little clean, cliched, too neatly tied for my taste. Real life is just a little messier, but maybe that's why books are better!