Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Queen Nerd and the Cripple: Are You Alone on Purpose?

Today is Reading on the Beach's A-Z Wednesday, with A the starring letter. We're starting over! Although I didn't start with A, so it wasn't a complete cycle. Every week bloggers are invited to spotlight a book starting with the letter of the week. You show the cover, tell the title, give a synopsis, and post a link. Just to be annoying, I like to actually read (sometimes just finish) the book on that day, so I include my little review. I pretend it makes things more interesting. It often makes my day more hectic, and I frantically read while walking through halls or while waiting for automatic doors to open or any other spare seconds I find. Then I sign up on her page to see what everyone else came up with.

This week I challenged my kids to play along. Their selections and comments were:
  • Astronaut Handbook, Megan McCarthy. If you were planning to use it to actually train to be an astronaut, you should give it to your worst enemy. It doesn't really give much information on astronaution. It might be good for second graders. (P)
  • Asterix Omnibus 1, Rene Goscinny & Albert Uderzo. It's a good graphic novel but the speech seems a bit misplaced. It is very funny. I recommend it for people of all ages. (X)
My book was Nancy Werlin's Are You Alone on Purpose?, a YA issue book. Alison has a problem -- her twin brother Adam has autism,

and somehow she has been relegated to the family role of Normal, Successful daughter, something she finds stifling. Harry also has a problem. At first his problem is that he's a bullying jerk mourning the death of his mother, but soon his bigger problem is that an accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. The two come together and help each other deal with their problems. It's a solid, well put together story, but never breaks free of the constraints of the young YA issue book. Alison is a finely drawn intellectual girl, but looking back it is hard to see what she values in Harry; his development is mostly interior and his outward behavior doesn't deserve that much loyalty. Oh well, one of the points is that emotions are complicated. Still, Werlin has written better books; I'm guessing it was an earlier effort (yes, from 1994). B-

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