Monday, July 18, 2005
Out of Order
So, I have been trolling the arcs I got at BookExpo looking for reads that may be appropriate for the younger tween set. Since I am due to have a kid in 3 weeks or so, I am trying to get as much reading in as possible. I have a presentation to make in October on the tween subject, and I know how quickly time will pass, and how little sleep I will be operating on once this kiddo arrives.
So I picked up Out of Order, by Betty Hicks.
I had never read this author before, but the cover is appealing and the publisher recommendation (which I know tends to run low), says ages 8-12. I am really looking for some newer stuff for the 8-10 range.
I was pleasantly surprised. This book is presented in 4 voices. The voices are of the kids in the now blended family. We have Parker, the youngest, who now wants to be referred to as "Mud Boy". Then we have Lily...former oldest, now second youngest. She used to be opinionated, but now that she has older stepsisters and brothers she is shutting down. Then there is "V". "V" is for Vanessa...dad's fav (or at least former fav) who is a girlie girl, smart and Lily's nemesis. Then there is Eric...the aspiring writer who can't seem to get out of his dead brother's shadow.
This is a blended family story that isn't too preachy or too sappy. Younger readers will get into the sibling dynamics as well as the rock, paper, scissors theme, and older readers will enjoy the issues that are effecting both Eric and V. The content is totally appropriate for the younger reader, and the voices of the characters ring true.
I read this arc in a day, and I really did enjoy it. I know that I will be recommending it to the occasional 3rd grader and well as 4th graders at my school.