February 1st, 2007

kinder secy of ed

who can fill this void?

I was working at the computer, printing out itineraries for next week when I heard Katie Couric announce that we had lost Molly Ivins. As a Texan for more than 35 years, I counted her a sister. Who could resist reading Molly's commentaries and columns? Who could have survived "Shrub" all these years without her books (BUSHWHACKED is still one of my all time favorites). Not much on the local news shows, doggone them. I hope some station puts together a fitting tribute for such a talented writer and commentator. The BEST thing for those of you who do not know Molly Ivins' work is to get an audio version of one of her books. Just listening to her laconic, dry, Texas-twangy, sharp observations makes me laugh. Think Ann Richards with an even bigger attitude. Molly, we will miss you, sister.

humor that bites

OK, we were trying to buy a YA novel at one of the big chain bookstores today (no luck of course) and we found this book. I already have the others in the series and voted for BAD KITTY to be on the QP list last year. So, I added it to the stack of books we had managed to find this one. I plan to include it in my YA seminars as a bit of comic relief (either that or someone will hiss). The insides are hysterical and somehow buying this one today made sense after losing Molly Ivins yesterday.
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prozac cat

GNs for gurlz

For the past couple of years we have seen graphic novels come into their own. Certainly the awarding of the 2007 Printz to AMERICAN BORN CHINESE signaled that what was once considered to be sort of a niche is now making headway into the mainstream. BREAKING UP proves that GNs can also appeal to female readers. Like QUEEN BEE, this new GN focuses on being popular, finding love, and maintaining friendships. Fashion High (or Georgia O'Keefe High School) is full of poseurs, I mean people, all of whom want to be popular. MacKenzie, Chloe, Erika, and Isabel have all been friends for forever. However, this is the year that things will change. MacKenzie will steal someone else's boyfriend, Chloe will fall for a guy deemed a geek by her friends. Lots of changes are in store. GN format tells the tale of finding one's place in the world of high school with minimal words and black and white illustrations. It is sure to appeak to kids who like Clugston's QUEEN BEE.

On a personal note, I love GNs as I can pick them up and read them quickly. Perhaps it is the effect of all those years of reading the comics first in the Sunday paper? I know one of our LJ friends is working on a professional book about GNs and their counterparts. Seems a great time to tell everyone working with kids, especially reluctant readers, about the power of words accompanied by pictures.
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