professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Baa Baa Black Sheep

No cover to show as the usual sources have not posted it yet. However, due out from Hyperion is this little gem of a novel about a teen who writes to the producers of a new reality show called BLACK SHEEP describing her awful life with her banker parents. BLACK SHEEP will swap out two teens and allow them to switch parents and lives for the summer. On the surface, it seems like a god idea. In reality, well, it blows. Kendra is, frankly, embarrassed when the producers inform her that she has been selected. Soon, she is shuttled off to California to take the place of Maya, daughter of two hippies. The Mulligans are everything her own parents are not: carefree, messy, demonstrative. However, she is still miserable. Will Kendra survive a summer of abandoned otters, hot guys, pesky siblings (who use her thong as a slingshot to launch tampons), all in the glare of the cameras?

I must admit that I eschew reality TV with few exceptions. I do not care for Survivor, Big Brother, and the other reality shows as my own reality is plenty for me to handle. I do think, though, that teens will fall right into this novel. Kendra is a fairly typical teen and all teens think if they could just get the right set of parents that their (the teens') lives will be better. Kendra learns a lot of lessons, but she is not simply a tool in the hands of the producers. She begins to take charge of her life and to assume responsibility for her actions. I admired the authors' ability to avoid pitfalls (though there are some pratfalls) and to craft a novel that allows the characters to develop some sense of themselves gradually instead of rushing into stereotypes and predictability. The 14 year old has read the book and had dogeared many pages as her favorites.

As soon as the rain eases, I am off to the office to check 2 weeks of mail, file grades, and get the next round underway. At the end of the week, it is off to the VI armed with books and audio.


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