Friday, February 11, 2005

Random Readings...

Some of these are duplicates to ones Cyn has already blogged about, but I thought I'd give my own two cents:

D.L. Garfinkle's Storky: How I Lost My Nickname and Won the Girl (Putnam 2005) is the hilarious story of Michael "Storky" Pomerantz and his first year of high school. (In case it is not obvious, "Storky" is not a term of endearment.) Cyn's blog-post has more superlatives, so take a look. Of related interest is this essay "Why Nerds Are Unpopular." Incidentally, and apropos of nothing, as a kid, I had a German shepherd named Rex.

At the other end of high school is Prom, by Laurie Halse Anderson, the story of Ashley Hannigan, who has absolutely no intention of attending the eponymous event. But when the math teacher embezzles the prom fund, Ashley's roped into emergency planning by her best friend. Can they pull off a successful prom with no money and only nine days to go? Another winner by the author of Printz Honor Book and NBA finalist, Speak. Cyn blogs Prom here.

Maya Running, by Anjali Banerjee, features Indian-Canadian Maya Mukherjee, living in Manitoba in 1979 (the horror), with deeply eccentric parents, and a lot of ice and snow. She wants nothing more than to fit in and go out with the John Travolta look-alike who, to her surprise, seems to like her as well. Then her gorgeous cousin Pinky arrives from India with a statue of the trickster god Ganesh, Remover of Obstacles. When Pinky "steals" her prospective boyfriend, and Maya's parents announce they are moving to California, Pinky invokes the god Ganesh. A funny and unique tale of a wish that backfires. Cyn's blog entry is here.

Naming Maya (Apparently a very popular name) is Uma Krishnaswami's latest and also features an Indian-(North)American girl, who is dragged by her mother to Chennai, India, where she must deal with the "new" culture of the Old Country, a whole passel of extended relatives, and her parents' divorce. Rich and lushly written, Naming Maya explores universal themes amidst a unique setting.

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