Monday, June 05, 2006

Sorry for the long time between postings. I stepped on a loose rock on the way back from the beach and fell hard on my elbows and knees. Wasn't feeling much like bending the elbows for a few days. They are scabbed over now so I am back at the keyboard. I had not realized how much we move our elbows to do everything - that is until it hurt like Hades when I moved mine even a tiny little bit.

But, I did read Nancy Werlin's upcoming novel, (Sept. with Dial) The Rules of Survival. I read it in one huge gasp and not sure I took a full breath before I reached the conclusion. I am a big Werlin fan anyway, with Double Helix required reading for my YA Literature courses, but this book absolutely sucked me into the world of teenage Matthew and his two younger sisters - a world controlled by their psychotic mother, Nikki. Werlin makes you accept, as much as you do not want to, that Nikki isn't just mentally ill, she truly is evil in her intent to hurt people, including her own children. And that their Aunt could be living right downstairs and know the torture this woman was putting her own children through. Of course she knew - Nikki had practiced on her when they were children. Matthew sees a knight in shining armor, actually I think it was leather, at the local convenience mart as he stepped in when a father was verbally abusing his child. Matthew had to find this guy, but Nikki is the one who finds and seduces him. But, when Murdoch sees what she is he tries to leave, but her revenge goes beyond stalking. In other words - you will sit at the edge of your seat as you read this heart wrenching ride straight into the headlights of an oncoming car, driven by pedal-to-the metal Nikki, knowing you can't get out until you know these kids are going to be okay, even though just surviving is more than enough for them on most days. Werlin has further staked her claim as an author for the older teen readership with The Rules of Survival. I see this one as a 2007 Printz contender.

Okay, now to try to find the top of my desk and work on my ALA agenda.