professornana (professornana) wrote,

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totally wonderful

Just finished reading James Howe's TOTALLY JOE, a companion novel to THE MISFITS. It is a wonderful coming of age coming out story of Joe one of the Group of Five (addie, skeezie, and bobby are the other intrepid members). Joe's English teacher assigns the class an alphabiography. As Joe writes from A (for Addie, of course) to Z (for Zachary), readers learn about his life, his family, his friends, his favorite movies, and much more. I am always a bit leery of reading "sequels" because I generally like the first book so much. But, like seeing Joey Pigza again and Jenna Boller return, I am beginning to understand that there is a difference in sequels written by authors like Howe and Gantos and Bauer. TOTALLY JOE is quick and funny and, ultimately, important because, as Joe himself observes, most of the books out there for guys are for guy-guys. There is precious little out there for the Joes and Zacharys and Colins of the world. Not just that, though. This is not a book just for the non-guy-guys. It is a book for anyone who cares about what happens to characters once one book ends. It was totally engrossing.

Since I had to go and get my hair done (to cover what we term endearingly as my Natalie streak), I took along another book and am most of the way through SHELF LIFE by Corbett, a book nominated for Quick Picks. One that desperately needs a different cover, I might add, for the book is not at all what the cover promises. The book is SO much better. I will write more about it when I finish it up this evening or tomorrow morning.
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