Monday, August 27, 2007

Mock Newbery: On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck

Title:  On the Wings of Heroes
Author: Richard Peck
Publisher: New York : Dial Books,c2007
ISBN: 0803730810

Annotation: A boy in Illinois remembers the home front years of World
War II, especially his two heroes--his brother in the Air Force and
his father, who fought in the previous war.

When I opened the delivery of books, this title was on the top of the box.
"Oh, no" I groaned inwardly, "Not another Peck book to read". Even the
cover was unappealing to me. His books are always well written, but do
they have kid appeal? I find adults like them more than any child I have
recommended his titles to. Still, when I started to read, I found myself
liking these new characters, even chuckling at his homey, heartwarming
humor. This was a pleasure to read. A charming tribute to a loving
father. However, not groundbreaking or new. A recommended purchase,
not a Newbery contender.

Mock Newbery: Call me Hope by Gretchen Olson

Title:  Call me Hope 
Author: Gretchen Olson
Publisher: New York, NY : Little, Brown & Company,2007
ISBN 9780316012362

Annotation: In Oregon, eleven-year-old Hope begins coping with her mother's verbal
abuse by devising survival strategies for herself based on a history unit about the
Holocaust, and meanwhile she works toward buying a pair of purple hiking boots by
helping at a second-hand shop.

I just finished Call me Hope, a novel by Gretchen Olson, who lives in Oregon. This
a satisfying book about verbal abuse beween a mother and a child.
Satisfying because it was more than an issue book. The main character, Hope, reads
"Anne Frank" and draws inspiration from Anne's diary to help her deal with her own
life. I worried about whether to make it J or YA. In the end I thought it would find
more J readers. I thought the author's choice of the Thrift shop friends was a good
choice, gently used things being new again. The character's name Hope, the sixth
grade class trip as a reward for responsibility, all fit with the theme. Hope's
survival tips are listed in the back of the book. Recommended.

Review by: Beth J., CLTR

Mock Newbery: Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree

Title:  Emma-Jean Lazarus fell out of a tree / Lauren Tarshis.
Publisher: New York : Dial Books for Young Readers,2007
ISBN 9780803731646

Annotation: A quirky and utterly logical seventh-grade girl named Emma-Jean
discovers some interesting results when she gets involved in the messy
problems of her peers.

Review: Emma Jean Lazarus fits the definition of strange. She is a girl separate
from the crowd. When confronted with Colleen (nice girl) Pomerantz sobbing at the sink,
Jean steps in to solve problems and sets into motion an avalanche of events. A
charming novel filled with middle school personalities. Wonderfully written in a
fresh voice. In my top ten!

Reviewed by: Beth J., CLTR