Young Adult Lit/Crit

January 30, 2008

Two texts to consider

Filed under: Look What I'm Reading for Book Club! — Mandy @ 2:11 am

I finished The New Policeman last weekend, which was the text I brought for book club last Thursday. I thought it was decent, but definitely not one of the best YA titles that I have read so far. It was very long for having such a simple plot and at times I was very bored. However, this reading is coming on the heels of Tamar, a very dense read about a historical tragedy: the Holocaust. That being said, I think it is more appropriate for middle school kids, as it was a long but quick read, and very understandable. Further, it deals with time travel and male bonding, so perhaps middle school males would find it most interesting and easier to identify with the male character and his adventures with time traveling.

On another note, I finished The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler. I read this in one sitting and I loved it. It is about a high school sophomore, Virginia, who lives in Manhattan with her “perfect” family. Readers will definitely laugh and perhaps even cry as she documents her struggles to fit in with her family and her peers, mostly due to her weight. However, I think this is an inspiring story for any female about societal/peer/ familial pressures to be thin and beautiful. Yet many other themes permeate this text, including how appearances can be deceiving, acceptance, a search for identity, coming of age, etc. I would recommend this to anyone because it is rich with issues pertinent to teens.




  1. So glad to hear about THE NEW POLICEMAN Mandy. I found this review in the British GUARDIAN very compelling. I hope you will read.

    I also recommend Amanda Yacashin’s discussion of the Mackler book — her article appears in the last issue of THE ENGLISH RECORD. KES

    Comment by sunyprof — January 30, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

  2. Glad to hear about both of these books. I looked for THE NEW POLICEMAN at my local Barnes and Noble, but they didn’t have it. Now I will put that one on hold in favor of THE EARTH, MY BUTT… which looked good, but since I hadn’t heard anything about it remained at the store. Thanks for the feedback.

    Comment by sostrom — January 30, 2008 @ 8:05 pm

  3. Mandy,
    I’m also glad to hear about books that are great for middle school kids. I will have to check out The New Policeman and see about getting it for my classroom!

    Comment by katefrazer — January 30, 2008 @ 9:00 pm

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