A Four Dollar and Twenty Cent Fine. Yikes.
When the overdue notice arrived last week from my local library I knew without even opening it what it was for--two of the Adventures of the Bailey School Kids by Marcia Thornton Jones and Debbie Dadey. I think I'd had them for months because they'd been overdue once before, and I'd paid up and renewed them.
Why was it taking me so long to read these skinny little things? Well, I'd originally had three of them. I took them out of the library because I was interested in writing a book for the same age group (which I haven't done anything about this summer) and wanted to see what other authors were doing. I read one of the books and, ah, didn't exactly find it to be my taste. I guess that's the best way I can think of to put it. So I was having a hard time bringing myself to read the last two. When the overdue notice arrived, I finally read one more book while I was on the treadmill. I gave up after that.
There are close to fifty Bailey School Kids, and the authors crank out other series, also. The two Bailey books I read and the similarity in the other titles suggests that these books follow a strict formula: a group of interchangeable kids suspect that adults in their town are witches, knights, Dracula, etc. and do some lame stuff to prove their point. In one of the books I read it was clear by the end that they were wrong. In the other it wasn't, though maybe I just didn't get it. That's a real possibility since I don't get these books at all.
Now, I am a big believer that a book a kid likes isn't necessarily going to be a book an adult likes, and I'm fine with that. Still...Oh, my gosh.
Since I like to try to be fair, I'm going to point out that I found only really positive reader reviews for these books at Amazon, and they were recommended to me by a library aid at an elementary school I was visiting this past spring.
Still...Oh, my gosh.