Wednesday, February 25, 2004

I know I know

I've been terribly remiss about updating... I have been reading... I just finished Stravaganza last week and I absolutely loved it. I'm having problems thinking coherently lately. Or grammatically. My brain is on vacation. If only my body could join it, we could have a nice little nap together.

I promise a complete review of City of Stars will be up soon.

Just Finished Reading:
On My Nightstand:

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Monday, February 09, 2004

Hard Cash-- Kate Cann

Ever buy a book and then wonder why? I buy books (for the library) based on reviews, but every once in a while something comes in and I look at/read it and think I must have bought the wrong title. Or the reviewer read the wrong title.

Hard Cash is about a selfish, greedy teenaged boy who is poor and wants nothing more than money. Money is the solution to everything--to getting the snobby girl he desires and skipping out of school early. Rich (bad pun) is an artist--he should be getting used to not having money, but instead he pimps himself out to work for some ad agency. He stops drawing for himself and starts drawing for money. He's making more than he ever did before, and spending it all before he can even count it. He alienates his family, his teachers and people who really care about him. He's banking everything on getting a deal with a soda company. Naturally, the ad agency gets the deal, but Rich doesn't. He's learned a bit of a lesson by the end of the book, but one gets the feeling it's not enough. This is just the first in a planned trilogy so it's natural to leave it with more to go. But one has to wonder if Rich will ever be anything but a selfish greedy teenager. He's just not a very likable character.

The book is set in Britain and is full of British slang. Unlike Angus, there's no helpful glossary at the back. I suppose it's written okay, but I really didn't care about the characters and it was a chore to read on. Completely unlike the book I'm reading now..... I had to force myself to put that one down and not stay up all night reading it....

Just Finished Reading: Hard Cash-- Kate Cann
Reading: Stravaganza: City of Stars-- Mary Hoffman
On My Nightstand: The Library Trustee; When Dad Killed Mom--Julius Lester

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Monday, February 02, 2004

The Boy Who Spoke Dog--Clay Morgan

I groaned when I got this book. "Oh no, not another juvenile book!" I foolishly thought.

I was wrong.

Although the cover looks a bit juvenile and some might automatically assume a story about a dog will be for kids, I was pleasantly surprised with this book. The first couple of chapters had some typos and that threw me off, but the more I kept reading, the more I *had* to read. I couldn't put it down. It's a story of an orphan who is working as a cabin boy on a ship. One night there's a violent storm and the captain thinks the best way to save Jack's life is to tie him to wool that will float and throw him overboard! Jack washes up on a deserted island off the coast of New Zealand. There are no humans on the island, but there are dogs and sheep. There are two sets of dogs--the shephard dogs who still protect the flock, despite the lack of human commands, and the fangos, the wild dogs that live in the woods and attack the sheep. The fangos have lost their bark, their purpose, without the humans to instruct them. Jack becomes embroiled in the war between the two dog clans and actually learns how to communicate with them.
This is a great story. The complex human-dog relationship is portrayed beautifully. Aside from the first few editorial mistakes, it is written well. Jack's part of the story is exciting and full of adventure. Moxie, the first dog to befriend him, also narrates the story in alternating chapters. Her part is thoughtful and intelligent and really examines humans and why humans are dog's best friend!

It's a solid middle school read, but anyone with a four-legged friend at home would enjoy it!

If you have access to VOYA, you'll have the pleasure of reading my official review when it comes out however many months from now (June 2004 issue)!

Just Finished Reading: The Boy Who Spoke Dog--Clay Morgan
Reading: Hard Cash--Kate Cann
On My Nightstand: Stravaganza City of Stars--Hoffman

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