Growing Bookworms Newsletter: April 16, 2008
The Life of a Children's Book Blogger

Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: April 16

Welcome to the latest installment of my Reviews that Made Me Want to Read the Book feature. The idea is to help me keep track of books that catch my eye, while also giving much-deserved credit to the bloggers whose reviews have made the books so appealing.

Frankie Landau-BanksE. Lockhart's The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks has been on my radar for several months. I loved The Boyfriend List, and I enjoy E. Lockhart's blog. But the review that made me really want to read the book was written by Sarah from The Reading Zone. She called it "a smart, funny, witty novel full of dry humor, wordplay, and characters who refuse to just be". Then there was this: "Don’t be fooled- this isn’t a silly, fluffy love story. Frankie is a smart heroine, one who has quickly risen to the top of my favorite characters list. The best part of all is that Frankie is proud to be smart." I can't resist that!

Teach MeBy contrast, R. A. Nelson's Teach Me wasn't on my radar at all. It's about a relationship between a student and a teacher, and honestly, that isn't something that automatically makes it to the top of my list. But then Eve from The Disco Mermaids said (among other things): "Teach Me is my new go-to book for learning how to write effectively. Talk about power-verbs and avoiding adjectives and adverbs to pump up descriptions! Geez! The man is a genius." And that sounds like something worth reading.

A Difficult BoyThis next one isn't even a review. However, a Class of 2k8 interview with M. P. Barker caught my eye, and piqued my interest in her debut novel: A Difficult Boy. Here's a bit of the background behind the book (from M. P. Barker): "I was cataloguing some documents in the archives and came across a 275-year-old bill that an indentured servant’s master had sent to the boy’s mother, charging her for the cost of finding and bringing back her runaway son. That got me thinking: Why did the boy run away?"

Kiss Me Kill MeLeila's reviews at Bookshelves of Doom often catch my eye. Recently she reviewed Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson. She said: "It has elements of a mystery novel ... The flashbacks as well as Scarlett's "I should have known better..." introduction made me think more specifically of the hard boiled detective* sub-genre. It's also, though, a book about the power of cliques and popularity, and about the difficulty of changing schools. I think different elements will stand out for different people: for me, it was a crime novel." As I'm a bit on the lookout for YA crime novels, I'm going to give this one a look.