Yes, my friends, I’ve been reading!! I’ve got three reviews for you and I’m keeping them short!

A Girl Named Mister by Nikki Grimes

Zondervan Press, 2010

main character: Mary Rudine (“Mister”)

Mister falls for her boyfriend so fast and so hard that she ends up pregnant. Her deep faith did nothing to protect her and little to warn her. Her fear takes her to re-discover the story of Mary Joseph and to give her a sense of compassion and forgiveness. The free verse MG book does little to develop Mister’s character or to build the readers sense of empathy. It will help MG readers find greater meaning in the Biblical story as we get interesting cultural insights into Mary’s relationships with her mother, her cousin Elizabeth and with Joseph. I wonder which Mary is on the cover?

Review copy provided by publisher

The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd

Dial Books, 2010

main character: Dade Hamilton

Poor Dade growing up in a small town in Iowa where his dad is a BMW dealer and his family is quite affluent. His self absorbed parents have given Dade few skills for coping and managing his life so he’s at risk of being as self absorbed as they are. He does manage to come to terms with being gay after graduating high school and thank goodness he meets free spirit Jenny Moore who teaches him to accept himself and Alex Kincaid who is able to truly love him. Without them, I would have had to reach between the lines and just slap that Nick! He was truly pitiful.

Copy borrowed from Zetta Elliott

Good Enough by Paula Yoo

Harper Collins, 2008

main character: Patti Yoon

Patti, in her senior year of high school is working hard to fulfill her parents dreams. Her life meets every cliche we haveabout Korean Americans. I never could quite figure out where Patti got her inner strength: her parents’ expectations are so high that Patti never quite meets them, she is bullied by her class mates and treated as an outsider. Yet, she is clever, optimistic and smart. Where does that come from??  Her story is inspiring with a very clear message.

Copy borrowed from my school media center

currently reading: New Literacies: Everyday Practives and Classroom Learning by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel

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