Monday, May 28, 2012

100 Books in 2012: Dead End in Norvelt

Book 25:  Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

I had been waiting to read this 2012 Newbery Award title since the announcement was made in January; however, it did not satisfy like other novels have.  This historical fiction combines some parts of Gantos' real life, some parts of history post-war, and a lot of fiction, humor, and mystery.  The story follows the summer of Jack being grounded and having to spend his time between helping one of the oldest living townspeople write obituaries and trying to figure out how to have a little fun with his friend whose father runs the funeral home all while trying not to shock himself and thus having his nose bleed all over the place.

I think this is a fun, entertaining read for an adult, but I don't see the appeal to some kids, especially most middle schoolers.  I just don't see them picking up this novel on their own.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

100 Books in 2012: Bossypants by Tina Fey

Book 24:  Bossypants by Tina Fey

A lot funny, a little crude, a little serious, this is the autobiography of Tina Fey, chronicling her introduction to theater in high school (where everyone was accepted and yes, there were gays) through her work with Saturday Night Live (Lorne Michael is a god) and 30 Rock (where they were determined to have Alec Baldwin come hell or high water!). 

Since Fey is my age, I appreciated the references and could relate to her growing up in the 1980s.  She relates her story with much humor, although sometimes a little crudely and with profanity.  It's a quick and amusing read about an aspiring writer who does well for herself.