The Absolute Value of Mike
Mike is the son of a brilliant mathematician; unfortunately, he has no mathematical aptitude. Sent to live with elderly and odd relatives for the summer (dad is in Romania for research), Mike gets involved in the town's efforts to bring a Romanian orphan to America.
Some people have a lot of patience for quirk; I don't. This has an abundance of quirk. If that's your style, then you should enjoy The Absolute Value of Mike.
Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World
Wow; this was a terrific and eye-opening read. Robin Wright interviewed key players in the recent Arab uprisings, hijab-wearing Muslim feminists, Arab and Arab-American stand up comics, filmmakers, and other Muslim political and cultural figures in the Middle East and other Muslim communities. Fascinating, moving, funny, and sobering reading. Highly recommended.
I am getting a big kick out of this book, and it's not normally the type of book that I really enjoy. (The quirkiness issue.) However, an alien story is bound to draw the attention of young readers, especially boys, so I needed to check this out. Scrub's grandmother, with whom he is spending the summer, is a known eccentric in her small town. Everybody (well, pretty much everybody) thinks that her intergalactic-themed bed and breakfast is plenty weird, even without knowing that the guests are actually alien life-forms disguised as humans.
Scrub's bewilderment and the kooky guests are super funny; although I'm only halfway through the book, I'm already looking forward to the sequel, to be published next summer.
This received a crazy amount of press before it was even published, so I was curious to see if it lived up to its hype. I only started this last night, but I'm totally loving it. I'm not quite sure where it's going (if you want a brief summary, click on the link), but I'm on board for the ride. Trying to get through it as quickly as possible, since there are a number of holds for it. I also have The Language of Flowers waiting, so I'm planning to juggle both at the same time.
I'm trying to get through early 2011 reads that I've missed. I've never read anything by Lisa Yee that I didn't enjoy. This is a look at bullying at a middle school; definitely timely.
Cannot believe that September is almost over. That means that I'm about to order new titles for October!
(I already ordered Thanksgiving/Christmas books, but will save that when it gets a little closer to the holidays. Most won't be available until very late in October or early November. We have several neat Thanksgiving books on the way, about which I'm very happy, since interesting and creative Thanksgiving books are not always easy to find. We also have some lovely Christmas books on the way, as well as a new Hanukkah folktale by Eric Kimmel.)