I read a lot of children's/teen literature for my job as a reference librarian on the youth services team. A booktalk is an effort to get a young reader to pick up the book and read it. It's not a book review - it's more like a brief sales pitch. My goal is to write the booktalks (as soon as I've read the books) and to make them accessible to my colleagues, parents, and other readers.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Booktalk: Jane by April Lindner [Teen Chick Lit; 1]
If you've read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, you'll remember that Jane Eyre is a young 19th-century English woman who has had a tough childhood and is an orphan. As a young woman, she goes to work as a nanny for Mr. Rochester, a brooding, handsome, temperamental, and wealthy man who seems to be single but has a mysterious past. It's part ghost story and part romance: Jane and Mr. Rochester are both intriguing, strong-willed characters. This novel, Jane by April Lindner, locates the story in modern America: the original Jane Eyre inspires the story but doesn't dictate it. Jane Moore is 19 and has dropped out of Sarah Lawrence College. Both of her parents died recently in a car crash, and she doesn't have the money to stay in college. She applies to a nanny agency, and due to complete lack of knowledge in rock music [plus her total disinterest in rock stars], she gets an interesting nanny assignment. She's to be the nanny to the daughter of the country's most famous and most influential rock star, Nico Rathburn. Nico has a past of wild living, drugs, and failed marriage. He lives on a huge, somewhat isolated estate, Thornfield Park. Jane is a good nanny to his daughter, but she's confused when she starts having feelings for Nico, and especially confused when he show genuine interest and affection for her. What would a glamorous, rich rock star see in a plain Jane like herself? And more perplexingly, who has he stashed away on the forbidden third floor of his mansion, with a ghostly, female-sounding laugh?
Jane by April Lindner. Poppy/Little, Brown: 2010. 373 p. Booktalk to older teens [be aware of adult content issues] and to adults.