Children's Literacy Round-Up: March 15
Growing Bookworms Newsletter: March 18, 2008

Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: Adult Authors Writing for Kids Edition

Welcome to the latest installment of my Review that Made Me Want to Read the Book feature. Oddly, both titles featured this week are first kids' books written by well-known adult authors. I'm a bit skeptical about such books in general, but both of these intrigue me.

Sure Fire At her blog Books for YA's and the people who love them, Cindy Mitchell wrote about Sure Fire, written by Jack Higgins, with Justin Richards. It's about two kids who find themselves with a dad they don't know after their mother dies, until the dad is kidnapped. Cindy said: "Now all three of them are running for their lives and only fast wits, smart plans and family togetherness will save the world and their lives along with it. I sure hope that there are going to be many more titles involving the Chance family, because they are fantastic." Sounds fun to me. Plus I know a "Chance family", so I get an extra kick out of that. I've also enjoyed Justin Richard's Invisible Detective books for kids (see my reviews of the first two here and here).

Jack: Secret HistoriesAt Reading Rants! Out of the Ordinary Teen Booklists, Jen Hubert brought to my attention the first children's book featuring the kid version of an adult character who I enjoy. I've been reading F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack series for a few years now. They're about a singularly versatile guy who lives "off the grid", and makes a living doing marginally legal "repair projects" for people (like recovering stolen property, protecting them, etc.). They have supernatural elements to them, as well as a whole good vs. evil thing, but I read them because I like Jack. (He's a bit like Jack Reacher, from Lee Child's series). Anyway, the upcoming Jack: Secret Histories is set in 1983, when Jack is a kid riding his bike around New Jersey, and solving mysteries. Jen says: "it’s great fun watching amateur sleuths solve mysteries without the help of Google or past episodes of C.S.I. Why, it’s almost like Nancy Drew! Or Scooby Doo and the gang riding around in the Mystery Machine!" I'd find that hard to resist anyway, and the fact that it's Repairman Jack is just icing on the cake. I'll be watching for this one (due out in late May/early June).

Thanks for inspiring me to read these books, Cindy and Jen!