Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Magician's Boy

Here's one that I picked up for the younger end of the tweensters and I think it may be just too young.

Susan Cooper has written a lovely story about a magician' apprentice who gets swept into the land of story.

Boy usually simply helps the magician with his act by doing the puppet show. The story is that familiar one about Saint George and the dragon. One day, Saint George has simply disappeared. At his cue, the boy steps around the puppet theatre and announces that the puppet is missing. The magician is very cross, and sends the boy into the story to fetch the errant Saint.

The boy finds himself in a world of fairytale and Mother Goose. Will he be able to find his way home again?

To me, even though marketed to that 8-12 age group, this title doesn't ring "tween". It's not that the story is fantasy...I welcome fantasy. It simply reads young. I think this would make an amazing read aloud to the younger set who can sit for story (1st and 2nd graders.)

4/5 for what it is 2/5 for the tween set

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

You are SO not invited to my Bat Mitzvah!

Stacy Adelaide Friedman is having conversations with God. She's trying to make deals, actually. Life has a way of getting confusing when you're turning 13, in love with Mr. hip hop Andy Goldfarb, balancing 2 best friends, and need to be 40% prettier.

Stacy, Kelly and Lydia are working their way through middle school life. It's a combination of boy season and bat mitzvah season. The girls are trying to get into the girl clique - The Chicas, and get the boys to notice them.

When Stacy gets busted in her rabbis office making a call to a boy, he asks her about her life. In a last ditch effort to avoid telling her mom, Stacy tells Rabbi Sherwin what's going on. He advises Stacy to make 3 mitzvahs, instead of wishing ill on people. The first 2 are easy to figure out. Her plus size brother needs some help in the cool department, and face needs a date. But that third mitzvah...what can it be?

Filled with the trappings of teendom and tweendom (Miss Sixty Jeans, LV handbags, Max Azria dresses), older tween girls should eat up this title. Fiona Rosenbloom has caught the angsty energy of the MS girl no matter what her style.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Julep O'Toole: Miss Independent

Julep O'Toole: Miss Independent, by Trudi Trueit

Julep is sick of following all of her mother's rules. She's 11 years old now, and totally capable of making her own decisions. Unfortunately, her mother doesn't seem to get it. She just vetoed her cool SE T-shirt that had "Hot Girl" written on the front in sparkly letters. All the other girls at school got to wear them!

Julep wishes her mom were more like her co-best friend Bernadette's mom. Bernadette gets to wear make-up, whatever she wants, and she even has a cell phone! And if mom can't be like Bernadette's mom, at least she could be like her Aunt Ivy, who bought her the "Hot Girl" SE tee in the first place!

Aunt Ivy is the coolest. She used to be a travel photographer and she's been all over the world. Now she owns an alpaca farm called "Cloud Nine" - a place where Julep feels like she can be herself.

This is a tween girl book if there ever was one. Julep is negotiating the difficult mother/daughter time warp of needing independence and still needing some guidance. I think this is a perfect read for those 4th and 5th graders who think they are ready for Brashares, but really are not!


Monday, June 19, 2006



This is where I plan on posting tween specific book reviews. Over at Booktopia I post reviews of whatever it is that I am reading. This page is going to have more of a focus for readers between 9 and 12 years of age.

Once I get going, I look forward to hearing from you!