Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Higher Power of Lucky

So...a little slow to the boat on this one. A shame about the whole scrotum mess. What a beautiful book.
Lucky is living in Hard Pan (pop. 34) with her legal guardian Brigitte, friend Lincoln, pest Miles and a few other characters. She has one of the few paying jobs in town: sweeping up the patios after the anonymous people's meetings. The drinkers, gamblers, and smokers all leave behind different things that the members of the other groups would not likely enjoy seeing. Lucky tends to listen in on the meetings. She especially likes hearing about folks hitting rock bottom, finding their Higher Power, and getting their lives together.
Lucky wishes she could find her Higher Power too. Ever since her mother's tragic death, Lucky has felt like she was searching.
Newbery winning author Susan Patron has written a lyrical novel about that chasm between kids and adults. How easily we misunderstand each other. Nuances of language which are seemingly so obvious to grown-ups are generally misinterpreted by the younger set. With memorable characters like Lucky and Lincoln Clinton Kennedy Carter, The Higher Power of Lucky is a slice of life book that will appeal to fans of each little bird that sings and The Beloved Dearlies.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Mr. Chickee's Funny Money

Steve is one of the only kids in his Flint neighbourhood who doesn't make funny of Mr. Chickee. Mr. Chickee is old and he is blind, so most kids are nice with their words, but not so nice with their faces. They all have wild stories about where Mr. Chickee came from, or his secret powers. Steve happens to like Mr. Chickee a lot, and accompanies him on his weekly shopping, which tends to end in a bottle of Vernonr's and a bag of chips! Not a bad thing.
One day, Mr. Chickee says that he is going away for a couple of months, and hands Steve an envelope saying that he will know what to do with it. Afterall, Steve is a member and CEO of the Flint Future Detectives...he can figure out anything! Imagine his surprise on opening the envelope and finding a piece of currency. A very large piece of currency. Inside the envelope is a quadrillion dollar bill with James Brown's face on it.
What follows is a wonky, riproaring adventure featuring a sarcastic dictionary, a bear sized dog, Agent Fondoo, espionage and peanut butter. Christopher Paul Curtis has written a slapstick comedy/mystery with characters to fit the most disfunctional of family reunions. Boys with a dry yet still silly sense of humour will eat this up!

Friday, February 09, 2007

We Are SO Crashing Your Bar Mitzvah!!

Thanks to Karyn for the recent ALA arcs! Hurrah.

Stacy Adelaide Friedman is back. Stacy and Lydia have been away at camp all summer. While they were there, they met cool girl Laila. Laila's from LA, she's had surgery and everything (nose job), and she knows all about current rocker fashion. She teaches Stacy and Lydia all she knows.

The girls are back in town and dying to hook up with next-best-friend Kelly before the big "First Night". You know, when all the kids break into the Pepsico grounds and hang out before the first day back to school. Stacy and Lydia get all glammed up for the occasion. They have their Sedu ceramic hair straighteners, whitened teeth, smoky eyes and rock chick attire.

Then the chicas roll in. Kelly is with them. Kelly is with them!. All of the Rye girls are dressed in flowy peasant tops and gauchos...not skin tight rock chick clothes. Stacy and Lydia try to pass it off as a joke, but they can't help feeling like the outsiders once more. Kym is holding court again, and while Kelly is in the inner circle, Lydia and Stacy are outside of it.

All of a sudden a limo a la "My Super Sweet Sixteen" appears on the scene. Out pop 2 boys dressed in white tuxedos. Once has a silver tray with a bunch of necklaces on it. Each necklace is a delicate gold chain with a capital letter "E" hanging from it. Apparently this is the invitation to Eben's bar mitzvah. Each of the chicas are presented with the golden "E". Then Kelly receives hers. A subtle shake of the head from Kym seals Stacy and Kelly's fate. No invites for them. They are officially "out".

What do you do when 8th grade changes everything? Moreover, do you have to become a mean girl to be part of the mean girl posse? How much of yourself do you have to sacrifice for fashion?

Once again, Fiona Rosenbloom has penned an angst ridden tween novel that, while seemingly shallow, is pitch perfect. Designer label names are dropped along with celebrities and "oh my God" slang. While Stacy is truly unlikable in the beginning, we watch her grow, and her genuine concern for her friend's well being is apparent and refreshing. Fans of You are SO uninvited to my Bat Mitzvah will eat up this new title, as will younger fans of chicklit.