Friday, January 2, 2009
new novels for elementary students
Well, I have read a lot of novels this holiday-both those aimed at elementary students and high school students. If I was efficient as some bloggers I would have commented as I went but it was a holiday and there was that snow to shovel. Many of these books are advance copies that publishers give you free before the book is formally published. I dragged them back from the NCTE conference in San Antonio. Anyway I am going to look at a few here.
My Life in Pink & Green is an amusing book soon to come out by Lisa Greenwald about a 12 year old mature beyond her years who helps her grandmother and mother run the family drugstore in a small town in Connecticut. The store is suffering and it looks as if grandma is going to sell it, but Lucy's expertise in make up and her reluctant joining of the ecology club at school, finds a possible solution for making the business green and financially solvent. One of my friend's parents were pharmacists and she says she and her sisters are addicted to make up as a result of working in their parents' stores which reminds me of Lucy. Good coming of age story probably more appealing to girls than boys. Great can do attitude!
Another fun story for elementary girls is I, Lorelei, (Harper Collins) by Yeardley Smith (who happens to do Lisa' voice on The Simpsons). This is one for cat lovers as her book is written in the form of a journal to her dead cat (I didn't make this up and it actually is effective). In the book, Lorelei's life changes as her parents' marriage dissolves and Lorelei has to adjust. I thought this book handles a somewhat familiar situation in a novel way.
Strawberry Hill(Little, Brown and Company) is a book by well known children's poet laureate, Mary Ann Hoberman. This is a rather enchanting book set in the depression years of Hoberman's own childhood in Stamford, Connecticut. Contemporary readers will find this interesting as although Allie's setting is quite different from their own, problems are not dissimilar. Ten year old Allie's parents have been living in an apartment in a house owned by her best friend's parents, but her dad has found a house almost in the country near where he is working, and Allie has to move, forcing Allie to deal with new circumstances which help her develop her character.