Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thoughts on Benny and Omar by Eoin Colfer

I picked Benny and Omar to read, because I simply adore Colfer's Artemis Fowl series. I was a bit nervous, wondering if I'd like something other than fantasy by Colfer. (Also liked Wish List, Supernaturalist, and Airman, but not as much as Artemis and Holly.) The description didn't leave me much hope. Okay, an Irish boy moving to Tunisia and befriending a Tunisian boy. Doesn't sound too exciting, but I'm willing to try.

While definitely not a favorite, I found a lot to like here, especially the humor. Omar's English skills (learned from watching TV) were the highlight of the book for me. For the two boys to communicate just by using ad slogans and catch phrases from television shows, gives the reader an idea of Colfer's genius. Just trying to envision the conversations between the boys had me chuckling.

I wish the story moved quicker, for I think many readers won't stick with it. And that's my biggest complaint with the book. Too slow. I also wonder how much my students will connect with these characters. Will they be able to identify with Benny's insecurities, even though he uses unfamiliar slang? That will be the biggest test.

C+ rating.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Most Popular

Ta Da! Last week's most popular books. One fairly new release, one with a recent movie adaptation, and a few of my favorites. Yea! I'm surprised at the amount of students recommending The Compound to each other. I love it when word of mouth sends a book to join the populars. 

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.

Breathe: a Ghost Story by Cliff McNish

When he and his mother move into an old farmhouse in the English countryside, asthmatic, twelve-year-old Jack discovers that he can communicate with the ghosts inhabiting the house and inadvertently establishes a relationship with a tormented, malevolent spirit that threatens to destroy both his mother and himself.

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

Fifteen-year-old Eli, locked inside a radiation-proof compound built by his father to keep them safe following a nuclear attack, begins to question his future, as well as his father's grip on sanity as the family's situation steadily disintegrates over the course of six years.

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick

After an injury ends former star pitcher Peter Friedman's athletic dreams, he concentrates on photography which leads him to a girlfriend, new fame as a high school sports photographer, and a deeper relationship with the beloved grandfather who, when he realizes he is becoming senile, gives Pete all of his professional camera gear.