Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Can't Wait to Read Others in the Series

Adam Canfield:  Watch Your Back by Michael Winerip
(Middle-School Readers and Up)

This is the second book in the Adam Canfield series, but the first I've read.  It was a Young Hoosier nominee for 2010 so I was intrigued enough to pick it up and give it a try.

My only regret is that I waited so late to start this series.  I absolutely loved it from beginning to end.
The novel centers around a middle school student named Adam Canfield who is co-editor of his school newspaper, The Slash.  At the very beginning of the book, Adam is a victim of a mugging by fellow classmates.  In addition to this incident, Adam his fellow co-editor tackle corporate take-overs, school bullying, special education prejudice, school science fair fraud, school board bureaucracy, manic depression and saving a tree!  While that seems quite a bit to pack into a novel, it really just keeps the pace going.  And, how realistic!  I love that fact that Adam's life is so crazy.  Too often, in novels, it seems as if the main character has just one problem that is all-consuming.  Adam made me feel glad that his life was just as crazy, and busy, as mine!

In addition to the very timely topics of school violence, Adam struggles with the often harsh task of news writing.  Having written for a newspaper myself, I so identified with the difficult job of telling the truth, even when the truth is painful to those around you.  It is a great discussion on journalistic integrity.
I also loved how the author attacked certain difficult topics in the book.  While as adults, we categorize issues into more gray areas, the author makes it very clear that some topics are just right OR wrong, no matter how difficult the distinction.

And a side note, my favorite quote from the book, "You know what my mom says about middle-school boys?  'UPS never delivers the complete package.  It can take years before the entire shipment turns up.'"  Hilarious book as well!

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