Sunday, December 21, 2008

Griffiths, Andy. The day my butt went psycho!

Griffiths, Andy. The day my butt went psycho! Scholastic, 2001 [978-0439-42469-1 // 0-439-42469-0]
One night Zach's butt disconnects from him and runs away. To accept the premise of this story you have to accept that butts can disconnect from people and run away with their own legs and arms. Zach chases his butt only to find that he is organizing other butts to take over the world. Zac joins some butt catchers to stop this evil plot. They end up on an island with the "butt"cano about to explode. Griffiths uses every possible way to incorporate butts into the story. It gets kind of tiring after a while (now realize this is said by someone whose favorite birthday present was a fart CD.) The adventure of this 207 page book ends up exciting, but as a whole I just found this book silly. That is not saying it won't be read. Kids who are into bathroom humor (and we all have plenty of them) will flock to this book. When some kids saw the book on my desk, three 8th grade boys told me that they have already read it. To top this all off, there are at least two more in the series - note that this book is a complete story. Do you want to get it? That is up to you but it may draw some kids that you usually don't see -- isn't that what we want?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Brooks, Kevin. Being

Brooks, Kevin. Being. Scholastic/Push, 2007 [978-0439-90342-4 \\ 0-439-90342-4]
The story opens with Robert on an operating table getting an endoscope for stomach problems but what they find is alarming. There are strange things inside Robert that have been shielded from the earlier x-ray. Robert hears them planning to remove it while starting to submit the drugs but he never fully goes under and breaks out of the hospital. This an violent adventure as he teams up female friend of a former friend trying to stay away from the people who are after Robert. On this adventure the two fall in love with each other and have physical relations, not described although discussed. Robert tries to figure out what or who he is. I love the ending. This 323 book is another mind bending, suspenseful tale by Brook. Each book I have read by him is different yet so good. For middle school or high school suspense, you have have to have this and his other books.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Meyer, Stephanie. Breaking Dawn #4

Meyer, Stephanie. Breaking dawn [Twilight #4] Little Brown, 2008 [0-316-06792-x // 978-0-316-06792-8]

In book four Bella and Edward, get engaged and married. They fly off to a secret home on an island to spend their honeymoon. Shortly after the honeymoon evening Bella shows signs of being pregnant. They both rush home and the child grows fast inside Bella. After a VERY violent birth, the child, Renesmee, is born. Bella remains human through the birth but in order to save her after the violent birth, she is made into a vampire. There is tension as Jacob, Sam and the local werewolves consider the age-old treaty now broken. That tension is partially resolved until it is learned that the Volturi are coming to rid the Earth of this abomination. This all builds to the final confrontation. This 754 page book is a satisfying conclusion to a well-written and very popular series. These books are not written for elementary students. Much has been said about the inappropriate nature of this book. I think it fits right in with the entire vampire series. The book shows after evidence of sex scenes but there is no description of the act.. except the discussion of bruises and broken pillows and bed. Later, there is mention of an all-night bedroom activity, but once again, not description. Bella and Edward are a loving couple and wait till after they are married. The birth scene is quite violent and gruesome, but in my opinion, not out of line with the whole series. Remember it is not written for elementary students. This is a good example of young adult books are creeping down to younger level because of their popularity. This is not the book or the author’s fault, but rather those who encourage younger readers to read it. I will get off my soap box. If you chose to have this series in your library, you need to have the whole thing. If you are in doubt, read it.