Monday, July 26, 2010

For Wimpy Kid Addicts: Booktalk 1

It’s hard to duplicate the success of the Wimpy Kid books. Everyone’s read them, and pretty much everyone loves them. Well, if you’ve read them, and you want more, I have good news and bad news for you. First, the bad news: the next Wimpy Kid book is not due out until November 2010. Next, the good news. There are some books which are a little reminiscent of Wimpy Kid, but in different ways.
The first one I want to talk to you about is called My Life as a Book by Janet Tashjian. [Show your readers the cover.] Just looking at the cover gives you a clue about the main character, Derek. Derek is a smart kid who loves to draw and hates to read. He’s been labeled a reluctant reader, and his mother basically bribes him with chocolate chips per page and threatens him. His dad, who is an illustrator by trade, is a little more sympathetic, but only a little. It’s summertime, and Derek has been procrastinating, nosing around the house, hanging out with his dog and his friends, and … oh, I almost forgot the worst part – Learning Camp. Yes, it is as bad as it is sounds. You’ll have to read about it for all the gory details.
Anyhow, you may be thinking: oh, this is the typical book about the boy who learns to love to read. No, this is not that book. This is a much, much better book. It’s funny, but it’s also more than that. Derek becomes really interested in finding out about a girl who drowned. He found this newspaper that his mom had been hanging on to, and every time he asked his mom about the drowned girl, it’s as if he hit a secret nerve. Who was this drowned girl? Derek may not like to read, but he’s got other talents, including getting his way, being a cool but nice kid, and being a good researcher and sleuth. Once you find out what he’s researching and why, you won’t be able to stop reading. My Life as a Book by Janet Tashjian was a great summer read.

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