Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Just sweet

In Fixing Delilah Hannaford, Sarah Ockler plays with that Sweethearts trope about meeting the boy who was once your best friend years ago. In this case, it's the dishy contractor-and-coffeeshop-crooner Patrick, who Delilah remembers as "Little Ricky," her grandmother's neighbor and the companion of her childhood summers. It doesn't help that Delilah has the worst "not-boyfriend" ever, Finn, back at home. There is some mild intrigue surrounding the reasons Delilah and her stressed-out mother stopped visiting eight years ago. Delilah pieces her own history together only after she and her mother return to Vermont to settle her grandmother's estate, but it changes both their lives.


This book is utterly charming, and it left me thinking about particular students to whom I would recommend it. I found it not dissimilar from

Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney. About three generations of women, all with their own issues. I think this tale resonates for girls who have or are seeking maternal ties in particular.

The Sweetheart of Prosper County by Jill Alexander. All she wants is to ride in the parade, and Austin decides raising chickens will win her the affections of the 4H. I love that she takes Ag and feel that her experiences are not far from many of my students'.

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern. Love the accuracy with which Halpern describes high school group dynamics. I think the bits about D and D will ring true for many survivors. of middle school.

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford. This has some sad bits, too, but on the whole it's such a precious narrative, like Sara Zarr's Sweethearts, I think it does appeal to the same readers.

I heard Halpern at last year's ALAN conference and know Alexander is one of the finalists for that group's Amelia Elizabeth Walden award this year, so I suspect she'll be in Orlando. I'm excited to be presenting at NCTE alongside some amazing librarians later this month, and staying over to hear the authors at ALAN, my new favorite conference.

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