Friday, May 09, 2008

The Titanic: An Interactive History Adventure by Bob Temple

I was so excited to read this choose-your-own adventure book about the Titanic. The Titanic tragedy is fascinating, and choose-your-own adventure books are always fun; unfortunately, this book is not that fascinating or fun. It only has 35 choices and 15 endings, which is kind of skimpy for a choose-your-own book. The information on the Titanic is interesting, but it left me wanting more facts and pictures. To get more out of this book, check it out with Robert Ballard's Exploring the Titanic or any of the other Titanic books with the call number 910.4. Review by Katie Corrigan

Blue Like Friday by Siobhan Parkinson

This may be my favorite children's book I've read all year. It's funny, really funny, and sad (my favorite combination), and the characters are great. On top of that, there's a mystery that the kids solve themselves. What could be better. It's told first person by Olivia, whose best friend is Hal. Hal is an unusual person (among other things, he has synesthesia--you'll have to look that up). Olivia spends a fair amount of time explaining Hal to the reader, and she has quite a funny way of telling things. Here's Olivia talking about her brother: "Let's face it, Larry is not one of nature's rebels. But my parents don't believe this. They believe all that stuff they read in the papers about Teenage Drinking. Larry is not exactly what you would call a typical teenager. I probably will be, when I get to that age. I will most likely be a total handful, get studs everywhere, wear the most way-out things, listen to really objectionable music. I will drive my parents up the walls. They've had it easy with Larry. They won't know what hit them. I am looking forward to it." So I guess the thing that I love the most about this book is that since the story is told from Olivia's point of view, you get her commentary on everything along with it. And as I said, Olivia is really funny. Review by Stacy Church

The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy

I really enjoyed reading this book, even though I wasn't sure what to expect from the title. In this case, "wild girls" means girls who live in the wild (sort of), not girls who misbehave in a wild way, although Fox, who calls herself the Queen of the Foxes, probably thinks of herself in that way, too. Joan, who is 12, moves to California with her family, and no one except her father is very happy about it. Her new house doesn't have a nice shady yard like her old house in Connecticut - no flowers, no swing hanging from a mulberry tree. When Joan goes exploring her first afternoon in California, she follows a path through the woods. It winds along a creek, and ends up in a small clearing furnished with an easy chair and shelves filled with dishes, food and toys. Before Joan can start to look around, a girl about her age yells at her to get off her property. Of course, this turns out to be Fox (whose real name is Sarah). And, predictably enough, they grow to be best friends--outside of school, that is. Later in the story, Fox and Joan (who has taken on the name Newt) write a short story together that wins a writing contest. This allows them to take a summer writing class from a real writer, on the campus of a nearby college. The class basically saves Sarah, helping her to understand her cold, demanding father better, and to find a way to be more comfortable with herself. Review by Stacy Church