Monday, February 15, 2010

The Baboon King, The Quilt, Winter's Child, Schooled (Korman), Schooled (Langan)

The Baboon King – Anton Quintana

Pages: 192
Laurel Leaf, 2001
Source :  Library

Morengaru is an out cast. His mother is from the Kikuyu tribe and is father is a Masai. These two tribes are about as different as you can get. The Kikuyu tribe are peaceful farmers and the Masai are hunters. Since Morengaru doesn’t really fit into either one of the tribes he eventually decides to live with his mother’s tribe. A leopard has been killing their cattle and Morengaru kills the leopard. This wins a place in the hearts of the Kikuyu. Then the unthinkable happens. A young boy playing a prank awakens Morengaru from a deep sleep. Morengaru comes face to face with the boy dressed in the leopard skin. Thinking it is the leopard he kills it only to find out too late it was the young boy. He is kicked out of the tribe. He leaves and joins a group of baboons. He learns their ways and he fights the leader to become the head of the pack. He eventually leaves the baboons and returns to the people realizing he need them. This is an interesting book, not one I normally would have picked up off of the shelf to read.

The Quilt by Gary Paulsen
Pages: 96
Publisher:  Wendy Lamb Books, 2004
Source: Library

I loved this book. Even though it was a short book it was full of life. Gary Paulsen has written of his experiences while living with his grandmother while his father is in the war and his mother is working in a munitions factory. While staying with his grandmother they must go to his cousin Kristina’s house to help out as the birth of her first child is near. He finds himself in the middle of a group of women who have all arrived to help. When the labor is slow to progress they bring out the family quilt. This is where he sits and learns the family history as they recount the reason for each patch in the quilt.
Winter’s Child – Cameron Dokey
Publisher:  Simon Pulse, 2009
Pgs: 208
Source:  Library

Winter’s Child is the retelling of the fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. Grace and Kai grew up as best friends. Kai has loved Grace for quite some time. When he finally lets Grace know of his love for her she begins to push him away. Winter’s child shows up and Kai leaves with her. This is when Grace realizes she truly loves Kai and misses him. She sets out after him, to find him. The story is told in different parts from each character’s perspective. I felt sorry for the Winter Child. She had to follow this path and she didn’t get to choose if she wanted to or not. Before reading this story I didn’t know there was a “Once Upon a Time Series” out there. I am interested in looking for the others and reading them. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Part of that is because I have always loved fairy tales.

Schooled – Gordon Korman
Publisher:  Hyperion
Pages:  224
Source:  My own shelves

Capricorn Anderson is not like the other kids. He grew up in Garland and old Commune. He was raised there by his grandmother Rain. She has kept him sheltered from the outside world. When his grandmother has to have surgery on her broken hip he is placed in a foster home. Lucky for him his foster mother had lived in Garland and understood Capricorn.

Zach Powers is one of the most popular and powerful eighth graders at Claverage. Every year the eighth graders elect the weirdest kid they can find as class president. Then they go about making a fool of him. No one is as weird as Capricorn. It doesn’t matter what Zach does or says to him, Capricorn is determined to be the best class president. This doesn’t exactly go along with Zach’s plans to humiliate Capricorn. Gordon Korman has scored big with this one. Capricorn is the kid you feel sorry for and cheer on all through the book.

Schooled – Paul Langan
Publisher:  Townsend Press
Pages:  140
Source:  Library

Lionel Shepherd has one dream, to play basketball. It is the one thing he is really good at. Every adult in his life tells him he needs to keep his head in the books and forget about basketball. They just don’t get it. Basketball is the only thing that keeps him from feeling like a loser. His father drives trucks and Lionel suspects him of having an affair. His mothers tour of duty in Iraq was extended a year. His aunt along with her new baby lives with Lionel and his younger sister. When Lionel tries out and makes the basketball team he’s on cloud nine. The next minutes his world comes crashing down around him. His decisions almost cost him his life. It also opens the door of communication with his father.

1 comment:

  1. I'm just amazed you found two books both called "Schooled." And the Baboon King sounded kind of freaky!