These are children's books, at about a 9-12 year old reading level. They're silly and filled with puns and told entirely in correspondance. In the first one, the principal needs a new drinking fountain and hires someone who designs huge decorative fountains. Misunderstandings ensue and the kids get involved with the planning and it's all silly fun with such characters as Sam N., Wally Russ, Minnie O., Lily, Gil and Tad Pole. (And when the kids in Sam N's class form a band and call themselves the Tune-a-Combo... becoming Sam N.'s Tune-a-Combo...) Hee Hee Hee.
The second two are all along the same lines and are fun and interesting. My only complaint is that in the second one, they make great use of the Chinese province of Sinkiang, assuming it's pronounced Sink-king, even though occasionally they bring up that it is also spelt Xinjiang. And really, it's pronounced Shin-Jee-Ang... ai ya.
Then, the YA librarian knows my love of British Teen Chick-Lit, especially of Angelica Cookson Potts, and when we finally got Cherry Whytock's latest, My Saucy Stuffed Ravioli : The Life of Angelica Cookson Pottsshe handed it straight off to me!!!
This time Angel and friends and family are off to holiday in Italy. Hot guys! Romantic complications! and Oh! The food! More of the same, but ever so much fun! Plus, two nights ago I made the recipie for Spicy Meatballs, and it was super-tasty!
And wow, I used a lot of exclamation points in that review!
I also decided I just couldn't wait and got Narinder Dhami's Bhangra Babes
Also for 9-12 year olds, this is the third installment in the Bindi Babes series, in which Amber, Jazz, and Geena Dhillon get into all sorts of mad Indo-British adventures. Basically, Auntie finally got engaged and is moving out, a new girl and guy start school and are causing havoc and Amber has a hair-brained scheme to solve all their problems. Not only are these fun girly books without being over the top moral OR super girly, but I'm a sucker for fiction that explores the meaning of what it means to be British and/or addresses the post-colonial immigrant experience. And I love that these books do that without intentionally setting out to "Address the post-colonial immigrant experience"...
What My Mother Doesn't Knowby Sonya Sones.
This was one of the ALA's most frequently banned books in 2005, and I'm not entirely sure why...
For some reason, I missed the memo that Sones's books are written in poetry. This collection of poems traces Sophie's relationship with Dylan... and Chazz... and Robin... and explores the teenage emotions that come with being a freshman in looooove. Well written, a good way to get kids to read poetry, I still don't understand why this book was banned (unless it was the poem about her breasts seemingly growing over night, which is about as explicit as that got). I highly recommend and am looking forward to reading her other books!