professornana (professornana) wrote,

down in the Valley

Drove down to McAllen today listening to FAIREST from Full Cast Audio along the way. More about the audio later. Checked into the hotel room and picked up DIARY OF A WITNESS forthcoming from Catherine Ryan Hyde (Knopf August 2009) and read it cover to cover. No cover, actually, to show you as it is unavailable from Amazon and Titlewave but that can wait until I am home again next week.

The novel is the story of two high school boys who are, in the eyes of others, losers. Ernie has become friends with Will Manson (yes he does comment on the unfortunate last name himself) because, as Ernie reflects, no one else would be friends with either one of them. Unfortunately, there are some thuggish kids at school who take great delight in picking on Ernie for his weight and Will for some of the miseries in his life. Even after a boating accident takes the life of Will's younger brother, Sam, the teasing and hazing do not end.

For me as an adult, I found some of the actions predictable. I saw Will's descent into depression coming along with his decision to take matters against the bullies into his own hands as well. Will telegraphs his intentions. It is purposeful, though, I think, so that younger readers will see this as well and, like Ernie, waver about the right thing to do.

On the way down here today, I noticed once again the billboard outside of Sinton (a small town close to Corpus Christi) that brags it is the home of Texas' largest squirrel (whose name is Alice). I have been to Sinton a few times, but have never seem Agnes. I think she must be stuffed somewhere in a store from what I can glean from the billboard. Also saw tons of hawks gliding on currents (lots of wind today) and a sizable grass fire (we are 7 inches behind in rainfall already this year).

Now, I am off to find some reruns to lull me to sleep. Tomorrow is a full day of teaching the YA lit class. Need sleep.
Tags: hawks, squirrels, valley, ya literature
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