Friday, February 21, 2003

Another Book I Wasn't Crazy About, But Some Fun Stuff, Too

After, literally, a couple of years of anticipation, I finally read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. Of course, I wasn't all that crazy about it because I'm not that crazy about anything, as my regular readers know. (My sons would say, "What regular readers?") I wanted the book to be more about the pants! The pants were supposed to be magical! But it seemed to me they were just used as a device to hold together four different "women's stories" for girls. And I don't like women's stories because I'm a traitor to my sex.

However, this is one of those books that teens are supposed to love. Go to Favorite Teenage Angst Books to a view a wonderful thread posted by readers excited by this book. Included is a discussion of whether or not Eric and B did something. They so did!!

You can also go here to read an excerpt.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Look What I Found

I can't even remember what I was looking for this afternoon, but what I found was Reading Rants! Out of the Ordinary Teen Booklists. I liked what I saw. Right now this site is prominently displaying a review of Feed by M.T. Anderson, a book I've been wanting to read. A lisit called Coolest Classics includes three favorites from my teen years: Cheaper by the Dozen (Get this--my mother-in-law met the mother in this book at a wedding); We Have Always Lived in the Castle (I was obsessed with Shirley Jackson, the author, when I was a teenager; and The Scarlet Pimpernel (Actually, I'm embarrassed to say I think I may have been past my teen years when I read this one.)

This site looks good and has an engaging voice. It's worth checking out.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Rebecca's Birthday Present?

I read in a recent issue of Newsweek that the Miss Spider books by David Kirk have inspired a line of products that will be sold by Target. I'd never read the books, but I have a niece who will be four next month, and I wondered if she wouldn't like a book and some type of Miss Spider item to go along with it. So I made a trip to my local library. They had four of the books there, and I checked them all out.

The illustrations are very sharp and intense and a little surreal. Some of them look almost three-dimensional. I don't think it will take long for Kirk's style to become "Kirkian"--identifiable. The text is interesting because it's all in verse. Aspiring authors are always being told that editors aren't interested in verse, yet, here is a well-known writer using verse. Go figure.

My favorite of the four books I read was Miss Spider's Tea Party. It's about both alienation and counting. How cool is that? I'll check out the Miss Spider products next. At the very least I think maybe Rebecca will get Miss Spider's Tea Party and some sort of tea set. That would balance the tool kit we got her for Christmas.

Here is a neat idea for a real spider tea party.