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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

Flashback August 2006

Time to take a look at what I reviewed in August 2006!

Cheating At Solitaire by Ally Carter. From my review: “Julia James is a famous self-help writer. Her area of expertise? Being single — and being happy and fulfilled being single. She’s written such books with titles like Table for One, Spaghetti and Meatball: Meals for the Single Person and 101 Ways To Cheat At Solitaire. Who needs a boyfriend? Then the news hits the tabloids: Julia is dating! And not just anyone — he’s a handsome actor. Her credibility is disappearing. And none of it is true; she doesn’t even know the guy. She’s not about to let her career and her life get ruined.” (Yes, Ally Carter also writes books for grown ups!)

The Boy Book (A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them) by E. Lockhart. From my review: “Ruby Oliver from The Boyfriend List returns for her Junior Year. While Ruby is not friends with her ex-friends, they are no longer her enemies. Still, she has to navigate life with one friend (Meghan), no boyfriend, and a lot of questions about life. . . . As TBB progresses, Ruby slowly realizes that she as been active; she has been acting; labeling it as passive or reacting was the way that she could avoid responsibility for things that happened. It’s a great moment when she finally decides not to have something “just happen” and to take control of her life and her emotions and her actions. I’m not saying that Ruby is passive aggressive or deliberately manipulative; rather, she’s a teen who isn’t in touch with her own motivations and doesn’t know herself.

George Crum and the Saratoga Chip by Gaylia Taylor, illustrated by Frank Morrison. From my review: “George Crum invents the potato chip. It’s a true story! The potato chip was invented! Who knew? And how amazing must it have been to have tasted one the first time ever.”

King Dork by Frank Portman. From my review: “Tom Henderson is trying to make it through high school — he has a best friend (Sam Hellerman) based merely on alphabetical order, a band that spends most of its time thinking up cool album names, and a hippie stepfather. He’s a self-described King Dork, a loser. Then he finds his dead father’s copy of Catcher in the Rye, and begins discovering things about his father, and himself.”

A Series of Unfortunate Events. From my review: “Can I just say Wow? I am so blown away by these books. Daniel Handler is brilliant, on so many levels. First, of course, is the way he plays with language; next, is the wonderful plotting as the story unravels, book by book; and finally, by capturing the imagination of so many readers. . . .  This story is a puzzle, that keeps getting more complex; yet not in a way that turns off young readers. This is sophisticated storytelling, with some very mature themes being introduced. Plus, it’s so smart, with little details that you may miss if you’re in a hurry.”

About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is