professornana (professornana) wrote,

  • Mood:

trailer trash and Leonardo da Vinci

Spent a lazy Saturday working in my jammies. I finished a discussion guide for ELSEWHERE by Gabrielle Zevin which meant a re-reading of the novel. Wow, if I did not understand how important reading text more than once is, I was reminded of it yesterday as I read this fabulous novel one more time. Things that I missed the first time: the sly humor of Liz's observations about old people in Elsewhere; the significance of some of the names of the characters, and so much more. I do not think there is one person, event, or observation that does not play out later in the story. I think the first time I read the book I was simply reading it at an emotional level. The second reading is more critical though the emotion is still present (I wept in the last couple of chapters). So glad I had the chance to revisit this text.

Then, I turned to reading two book for review. LADY WITH AN ALIEN is part of the ENCOUNTERS WITH ART series that combines a story about a famous artist (Leonardo da Vinci in this book) that is part fiction and part nonfiction. In LADY WITH AN ALIEN, Leonardo meets a boy from the future and his pet, Melody, a brilliant blue creature that resembles an ermine. Sci fi meets nonfiction is an interesting blend of genres, no? The book was a quick read and would be a nice step up for kids who read Diane Stanley's picture book biography.

TRAILERS is a graphic novel that focuses on the life of a young man named Josh whose mother turns tricks for rent and drug money. Josh is left to care for his brothers and sister who are often abandoned by Mom as she heads out with various men. As the novel opens, Mom kills a man in the trailer and makes Josh bury him out in the woods. The body is not completely buried and pieces of the dead guy are brought out into the open by the family dog. Josh even witnesses a group of people who have sex in the shallow grave. Eventually, Liz, a girl who shows interest in Josh at school, convinces Josh to call the police. The novel ends with Josh showing up at his father's house with the rest of his family in tow. He and Liz will somehow muddle through this together. Aside from problems with nudity and language, I wonder how much this story will appeal to most readers? I felt that the story line was somehow implausible. Maybe I have led a sheltered life, but I find Josh's burial of the body unlikely. I also found the story difficult to follow narratively in some places. Hmmmmmmm............
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.