Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Midnight at the Dragon Cafe - Everybody Reads book

This novel, by Canadian author Judy Fong Bates, is Multnomah County Library's Everybody Reads choice for 2007, so I thought I'd get a head start and read it. The thing is, though, I didn't really like it that much, which was disappointing. This is definitely not a book I'd suggest to middle schoolers to read, even though the main character of the novel is telling the story of her young adolescence when she and her mother came from China to join her father in a small Ontario town to run the Dragon Cafe. In the first place, I really think middle schoolers would be bored with the novel, but there are also some adult situations in the book which make it a grown-up book.

The most important component of any novel to me personally as a reader is character - and in this novel it was difficult for me to make a strong connection with any of the characters. I certainly had little sympathy for the mother, although she had faced many difficult challenges in her life. And although I felt sorry for the father in the novel, I couldn't really connect with him either. The older brother had nothing in his character that appealed to me, and even the main character, who I felt the strongest pull to, never really pulled me in all the way.

It was interesting to read about the immigrant experience, and from that perspective, I did like it. I will be interested to hear the reactions of others as they read this novel for Everybody Reads. I hope others enjoy it more than I did, clearly some people have or it wouldn't have been chosen, because I love the idea of having a book that so many people in our community have the shared experience of reading. Last year it was fun to hear so many people talking about The Kite Runner (last year's book) and to be able to have that experience strengthen our community. If any parents out there participate in the Everybody Reads program this year, please, let me know what you think - I'll be interested to hear!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

First Time Read slips - new @ the WOMS library

Be the first to read one of our new books, and you'll get to put your name in the book! Just fill out the "Book First Read By:" slip, and we'll glue it in the book. See Mrs. F-B if you have questions. And yes, if you're the first student to read Enthusiasm, I'll let you put the slip in there :)

Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman

Two of the sessions I attended at the library conference talked about this book, and since we just got it in the library AND it has a pink and orange cover, my favorite color combo of late (especially since I tried that Dreyer's berry sherbet...YUM!), I had to read it next. I have to tell you I stayed up WAY too late on a school night just to finish it, even though I was pretty sure I knew what was coming. I mean, come on, I haven't watched Pretty Woman, Notting Hill and a hundred other chick flicks without getting some skills. And although I'm one of those people who has a lot of enthusiasm for books, I've never actually started talking or dressing like that characters in my favorite novel. That, however, is exactly what Ashleigh, one of the main characters in Enthusiasm does. Unfortunately for her best friend Julia, the novel she picks is Pride and Prejudice. Now, I'm all for this book. It's the one on my READ poster (which you'll be seeing soon) after all, but come on, dress like Jane Austen's characters? Or talk like them? I think not! This is a fun, romantic comedy of a novel, with a little mystery and a lot of daring. I'd definitely recommend it to those of you who like Sarah Dessen, Ann Brashares, Joan Bauer or chick flicks. And boys, you could probably learn quite a bit about the crazy workings of an adolescent girl's mind by reading this, so it might be a good choice for you, too.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

I started this book on Friday night, and I plan to finish tonight before I go to sleep so I have to hurry up and finish this post! It is the sequel to Twilight which I read this summer and which immediately became my favorite ever vampire book. I love vampire books! Doesn't seem like me, does it? But it's true, I do. Anyway, both Twilight and New Moon are set in Forks, Washington, and revolve around the main character Bella Swan and the Cullen family. In this sequel, the Cullens leave Forks, and Bella, who is truly, madly, deeply in love with Edward Cullen is devastated. She goes into a deep depression, and is saved only through her friendship with a Native American boy, Jacob (who'd really like to be more than friends). But Jacob has secrets of his own, and danger surrounds all of them, moving closer and closer. I find that the sequel is rarely as good as the first book, and this holds true for these two novels, but I definitely still think this one is worth reading and will keep you on the edge of your seat. I have ordered this book for the WOMS library and I'm expecting it any day now, so look for it on our shelves. Twilight is already in the library (although you'll probably have to put a hold on it to get a chance to read it because it's rarely in).

Audiobook: Maximum Ride - School's Out Forever

While I was driving to and from my librarian's conference, I was listening to James Patterson's second book in the Maximum Ride series, which is a really strange series. Having said that, though, once I started this series, I HAD to keep going, even though it was so weird. It's about some mutant bird kids who have no parents, can fly, and keep getting attacked by erasers which are NOTHING like those pink things on the ends of your pencils. More like mutant wolf men. In this book the kids are looking for their parents, have been temporarily adopted by a woman in the FBI, continue to be plagued by the erasers, and one of them is controlling the leader of the free world just with her thoughts. Oh, and Max, the oldest girl in the story, has her first date. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? And I really didn't think I'd be so into it, but I gotta know what happens next. I think I'll go for a drive. This audiobook is available from Multnomah County Library (as soon as I'm finished with it...)

Friday, October 13, 2006

What Mrs F-B's reading...

I'm currently reading Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman
I'm going to see him at the OEMA conference this week and all kinds of kids have been asking for his books this last year, so I thought I'd better get with the program and read some of his work. This is the first book in the Land of Elyon series and I am really enjoying it. There's definitely a secret hiding in those dark hills, and I'm looking forward to discovering what it is.