Saturday, December 13, 2008


Well, all of my work has been turned in and all of my classes have been attended. Assuming I didn't totally fail that last paper, I will graduate from my MLIS program next Sunday.

And, now that I am no longer writing 2 research papers on rather depressing topics (intellectual freedom for students in American public schools and the inherent power plays involved in where a nation/culture's archives are physically located) I can get back to babbling about books.

And maybe catch up on my blog reading. That 1000+ unread posts on my Google Reader is a more than a little daunting! And I'll whittle it down to a cool 500-something unread and then, next thing I know, I'm back up to 1000+ le sigh

Anyway, books. Today's reviews have nothing to do with each other, but just a random hodge-podge of what I've read lately. (Really, I have a bag of books that need reviewing and I'm just reaching in and pulling them out.)

White Sands, Red Menace Ellen Klages

Did you love The Green Glass Sea? I know I did, and this sequel did not disappoint. Dewey is living with Suze and her parents in a small town in New Mexico in that oft-forgotten time after WWII, but before the 1950. The scientific community that worked at Los Alamos is still trying to come to grips with what it has done, TV may be the next big thing, and their town is divided between White and Hispanic. Plus, the legality of Dewey staying with the Kerrigans is totally up in the air.

I liked the struggles of Dewey and Suze's friendship--how well they knew each other, and how sometimes that didn't matter. I also liked how they were able to branch out and make friends and have projects independent of each other--I was worried how they would survive once they left the very insular community of Los Alamos. Like she did in Green Glass Sea, Klages really captures the chaotic time well, while still never giving her characters more knowledge than they should have, or letting it overpower the story.

An excellent book about a period in time we tend to completely skip right over.

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things Lenore Look

From the same author who writes the fantastic Ruby Lu books comes a new character.

Alvin longs to be a gentleman, but it's hard when he's too afraid of school to actually talk and when his only friend at school is a girl (ew). Plus, there are a lot of rules to remember. It's hard. But short, episodic chapters make this an excellent (and hysterical) book just right for those who have just finished withthe transitional, my-first-chapter type books.

My favorite part was when he finally talked to his therapist, but only in Shakespearean insults.

I'm looking forward to June, which brings us Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters!

Julian Rodriguez: Trash Crisis on Earth

Ok, the whole plot of this book is that Julian doesn't want to take the trash out and is sent to his room until he does.

But the premise is that Julian is an alien (or thinks he is) and is communicating with the very sympathetic mother ship about how horribly unfair his life on earth is. Something I think many kids, even if they aren't aliens, will relate to. Lots of pictures, some comic book type format, and computer interaction makes this a fun one for the one-step up from beginning readers.


Becky said...

Welcome back! You were missed!

Jennie said...

Oh! I'm glad!