Monday, October 11, 2010

Griff Carver, Hallway Patrol

Griff Carver, Hallway PatrolGriff Carver, Hallway Patrol Jim Krieg

Griff is transferring schools after an incident at his last one. He's been told not to do safety patrol again-- he takes it too seriously, but protecting the hallways is in his blood. What he finds is a shady student council election, a fake-hall pass ring, and a police chief on the take, and they're all related. Plus, the sassy girl reporter and the over-achieving sidekick.

It's all done in a very pulp crime noir dirty-backroom politics, but in junior high.

It's a straight-send up and done very, very, very well and I really liked it but... I'm not sure that kids will. They're not as familiar with hardboiled detective novels and movies like this is based on and... it's not an overtly funny story. It's not really supposed to be, but I'm not sure what's there for kids to like. And the junior high setting gets a little old for adults reading purely for their own entertainment.

So, I'm more than a little torn. Did I love the scene where Griff can't take it anymore and is drinking himself into a sugar coma instead of an alcoholic one? Yes. Was it funny... only because I know that instead of an arcade with soda, it should have been a smoky bar and shots of whiskey. The humor comes from the subversion of the setting, stock characters, and tropes. And it's a subtle thing that I'm not sure the target audience will get.

However, I hope I'm wrong.

Book Provided by... my local library

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1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I'm always leary of the hardboiled-send-up genre in children's books. Really, how would kids know what the story is satirizing? I know several people commented that safety patrols/hallway monitors no longer exist in most schools either.