Review: My Mother the Cheerleader, by Robert Sharenow (2007)

The pitch: No, not that kind of cheerleader. Louise’s mother Pauline is one of the women who stands outside William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans and throws tomatoes and insults at Ruby Bridges, its first African-American student. When a handsome stranger from New York shows up at Pauline and … Continue reading

“Save the Muslim girl!”

A colleague sent me this article from Rethinking Schools: “Save the Muslim girl!”, about the presentation of Afghan and Pakistani girls in modern YA lit. The most popular and critically acclaimed include Deborah Ellis’ Breadwinner trilogy and Suzanne Fisher Staples’ Under the Persimmon Tree, both written by white women and … Continue reading

8th Grade Superzero, by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

5 out of 5! Reggie has big dreams for his school, but Clarke Junior School isn’t stepping up. His classmates are more interested in helping themselves than helping each other, and besides, nobody listens to Reggie anyway after an unfortunate incident on the first day of school left him with … Continue reading

The Pool of Fire, by John Christopher (1968)

After the discussion of trilogies (and Martini-Corona’s eternal John Christopher obsession), I decided this project wouldn’t be complete without a Tripod book. The Tripod trilogy (…heh) might have been the first major YA science fiction trilogy, and is certainly a classic. If you somehow missed these books, the premise is … Continue reading

City of Darkness, by Ben Bova (1976)

Sorry it’s been awhile. Fortunately the 7th grade trip to New York was not apocalyptic in the slightest. Anyway, speaking of New York, it’s the setting of today’s old-school apocalypse! In the future, everyone lives in vast suburban Tracts in little boxes made of ticky-tacky. All Cities have been evacuated … Continue reading

Closing tabs (about food and education)

1. No Brownies at Bake Sales, but Doritos May Be O.K. raised my blood pressure way more than a whole plate of brownies (mmm… brownies): Nine months after effectively banning most fund-raising food sales in city schools, a city panel will vote Wednesday on an amended regulation that will allow … Continue reading

Cybils reviews

Now that the Cybils winners are all official ‘n stuff, I can review the finalists from the Middle Grade Fantasy & Science Fiction category. Here they are, in one speedy blowout: The Prince of Fenway Park, Julianna Baggott Check this premise, people: the famous Curse on the Red Sox is … Continue reading