We don't do stars...
We don't do thumbs...
We read children's books and grade them in 10 categories:
literary quality
descriptive ability
humor (if attempted)
illustrations (if present)
believability of characters
believability of situations
overall reading enjoyment

There is no grading curve. There are no points for classroom participation. There is no extra credit.
If you disagree, come speak to us after class.

The Grading System

A+.....this means (guess what) we think it's great. So great it surprised even us.
A.....this means it's pretty darn good. A book we'd recommend to just about everyone we know.
B.....better than most. Not exactly Shakespeare for kids, though, if you get our drift.
C.....mediocre. Like the color beige, it didn't stand out.
D.....we didn't like it. There were more bad aspects than good ones.
F.....it reeked of badness. We read it over and over when we are in dire need of hysterical laughter.
F-.....We're pretty sure Dante had a circle of hell for the people who wrote these...and a lower circle for those who published them.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Books for Boys: Wee Free Men, by Terry Pratchett

Harper Collins, 2003
Young Tiffany Aching of Discworld has always felt different than your average girl. She knows things, feels things that others, well, they just don't. But she didn't realize that her powers made her guardian to the gates of the faery world--until an evil power tries to break in. Luckily for Tiffany (and somewhat to her annoyance), a group of renegade faeries, tiny blue imps called the Wee Free Men (or Nac Mac Feagle, in their Scots-like dialect) want very much for the gates to stay closed. And they've made Tiffany their queen.
Why Boys Will Like It: Despite it's female main character, this is definitely not a "girly" book. It has great action, adventure, and pacing that will keep boys turning pages--and, as mentioned, Tiffany is not your average girl. Her cool common sense and goal-driven personality may in fact resonate more strongly with male readers than the average female. Certainly boys will be fascinated by the feisty secondary characters, the Nac Mac Feagle, who are as full of humor and pranks and ridiculousness as any boy could wish for, and who (as the title might indicate) are prone to running away with the story from time to time.
The reading level of this book is upper middle grade/lower YA, making it ideal both for young adults and for younger boys whose reading level has jumped ahead of their maturity/experience.
And though we're showcasing this book, all Terry Pratchett's children's books are excellent. His humor is astounding. His characters are totally unique. His writing is incredible--in fact, his first book for children, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, a humorous take on the Pied Piper story, was the winner of the Carnegie Medal, England's closest equivalent to the U.S.'s Newbery. (And for another famous recipient, how does the name C. S. Lewis sound?)

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