The "buying season" is almost complete for the season, which is a good thing because my pile of advanced reading copies (ARCs) teeters on my dining room table. Some days the pile just reminds me of work, but most days I see it as a tremendous opportunity to explore new worlds.
I do try to keep up, and there are times when the pile gets shuffled if something new catches my eye, or there's a buzz about a new book coming out. That's what happened this week.
I became an instant fan of Tom Angleberger when The Strange Case of Origami Yoda came to my attention. Great book -- and something to give the Wimpy Kid fans who have exhausted their supply of reading materials. So, when Horton Halfpott or The Fiendish Mystery or Smugwick Manor or The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset [Amulet, May 2011] arrived, I had to read it. From the beginning, there's humor - laugh out loud humor that kids will love -- along with a mystery and some great characters. This one's a keeper, for sure. And I hear there's a sequel to Yoda on it's way entitled Darth Paper.
And I finished another audio book, Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan [Dutton]. Sometimes, I may skip a book simply because I know the topic or language in the first chapter will keep it off the shelves of teachers or librarians I work with. (Please don't holler censorship. These are people who must follow guidelines put out by school boards and districts. What they want and can do are often very different.And as much as I realize those kids may be missing out on some spectacular things because of those guidelines, I am well aware of how much those same kids would miss if they did not have these dedicated people in their lives.)
I read an excerpt of this book, and as much as I admired both writers, I knew the work wasn't for my clientele, and the book would have to wait until I got time to read it.
I'm glad I finally did get time. This book was awesome! Hilarious in many places. And heartbreaking in others. The characters are memorable (I too appreciate Tiny Cooper, for those of you who have read the book). And I was correct in knowing I couldn't sell it to my clientele. It does have a VERY generous helping language with liberal use of all the words that parents and others believe our kids have never heard or have ever used. That said, take some time and read/listen to this one. You won't be disappointed.