Jenna and Lucas are pains at home. Jenna is too silly and free-spirited for her prestigious and acadademic family. Her parents worry about her, and he...moreJenna and Lucas are pains at home. Jenna is too silly and free-spirited for her prestigious and acadademic family. Her parents worry about her, and her younger sister doesn't even want to be seen with her. Lucas, son of a single mom, gets horrible grades despite his intellect. Both teens and families are surprised when a representative from Camp Fielding visits their home to invite/recruit them.
Camp Fielding is wierd, with no real teachers, only elaborate problems and scenarios for campers to decipher. There also seems to be a problem with mysterious disappearances, strange dead baby birds, and campers who suddenly become eerily intelligent.
Discovering the secret of Camp Fielding is intense, and it unfolds at various points in the story. It was a very creepy and yet funny book that made some realistic points about academic pressure, hormones and the benefits of not fitting in. Realism aside, there were mythical and political points that should engage any reader that loves a good mystery.
Whenever I read a book that has graced a few banned lists, I always wonder why people don't trust young adults or worse yet, TEENS, to be intelligent...moreWhenever I read a book that has graced a few banned lists, I always wonder why people don't trust young adults or worse yet, TEENS, to be intelligent and open-minded enough to ingest a story and take only the parts necessary to them. Contrary to belief, they are not as susceptible to peer pressure as most accuse them of being, and are actually more willing to step out on their own beliefs than most adults I know!
That being said, it is clear why Skim made the banned list. Teen Suicide, Student/Teacher impropriety, Wicca and homosexuality make it a prime target for rough attention. However, each and every one of those plot-lines is addressed in such a cavalier way that this book becomes all too important for young adults to read.
Skim is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a teenage girl with a quick wit and silent observer attitude. She spends most of her time with her best friend Lisa as they work on becoming practicing Wiccans, dissing the popular lemming-like students at their high school, and drawing. She doesn't spend much time with her divorced parents because her mother is a worker bee, and her father is a tad too mushy for her taste these days. If not for Lisa, she would be a loner, which makes it all the more strange when she starts spending more and more time with her English teacher Ms. Archer.
Very soon into the story, Katie Mathews, one of the more popular girls' boyfriend kills himself. A few weeks later when Katie falls of her roof, breaking both arms, everyone believes it was to commit suicide also. The intense amount of pressure the school begins placing on life after those two events works in contrast to Skim as her feelings for Ms. Archer are heightened. As the school and community try to counsel the teens towards life and positivity, Skim realizes that a few are focusing in on her specifically because as a "goth" and a "witch", she's obviously a prime candidate for suicidal thoughts. A theory she openly scoffs at. Quite the contrary to what everyone apparently believes, Skim is actually experiencing her first love, not sadness. But then, at 16, its hard to tell the difference.
The pressure and questions about her own feelings towards Wicca, sexuality and what Katie Mathews must be thinking(she seems to be the only person in the book who truly wonders about this), are what make this book so relevant. Skim's ideas fluctuate and change based on what she learns and experiences, much like any other real teenager. Nothing is concrete, and her willingness to allow herself to change in the midst of her first real love and subsequent heartbreak are valuable lessons for anyone questioning their own beliefs and direction.
At the heart of this quick story, written in diary format, is a growing girl with a strength that the reader can see from the very beginning. Watching her realize those strengths are what make the book a gem. (less)
Don't all of us create stories about the lives of the grown-ups we once knew? Lunch Lady explores the never boring life of one such school employee. B...moreDon't all of us create stories about the lives of the grown-ups we once knew? Lunch Lady explores the never boring life of one such school employee. Behind her nutritious job, is a secret "boiler room", with spy level items like chicken nugget bombs and hot dog nunchucks.
When Mr. O'connel, a favorite teacher misses his first day in 20 years, Lunch Lady knows something just isn't right. The cold and untrustworthy substitute who appears on his place doesn't seem safe either. It's up to Lunch Lady, her sidekick Betty, and a few handy gadgets, to get to the truth and set things straight.
**spoiler alert** This book made me SOOOOO angry. And that's rare for a juvenile book, let alone a juvenile graphic novel. I really enjoyed the first...more**spoiler alert** This book made me SOOOOO angry. And that's rare for a juvenile book, let alone a juvenile graphic novel. I really enjoyed the first Lunch Lady book and was hoping that this one would be as funny and entertaining, but it quickly fell flat when I learned just what the League of Librarians was planning.
Their whole scheme was to destroy all videogames to encourage reading. As a librarian who is a staunch advocate for gaming, this not only pissed me off, but really disappointed me. There was an opportunity here to join the love of gaming with reading, but who finally introduces it here? The lunch lady! Boo.
Librarians were depicted as rude and egotistical, only suggesting books they felt were worthy, rather than those that interested their students, and I just found it a rude and sassy caricature of my profession.
Aside from the harsh jabs towards my industry, I will also say that the backstory and even lunch lady gadgets fell flat in this issue.