Thursday, January 15, 2009

I can't believe the last post was December 27th! Time flies when you're busy. Steve left for Kansas City the next day and I buried myself in getting Spring courses ready and finding the top of my desk. And then it was time to hit the road for North Carolina and a week of meetings. One more tomorrow morning and then I can head home. It is so darn cold that I don't think I will have to deal with snowy roads like I did on the way over on Tuesday.

For those of you who read my blog you may remember me talking about Coe Booth's Tyrell - a book that made me very uncomfortable and that is a good thing. If you can't remember a book, it didn't have that something that made it memorable. With Tyrell it was the blunt and very realistic depiction of a teenage guy's view of girls and sex. And, his need to be the man of the family and support his mother and younger brother at any cost. Coe Booth was at the YA Lit Symposium in Nashville and I was delighted to get a signed copy of Kendra, her new edgy YA novel for HS age teens. Kendra is as memorable a character as Tyrell. They even live in the same neighborhood. At fourteen she cannot understand why her mother doesn't want her and is chafing at her grandmother's heavy hand to keep her from following in her mother's footsteps. But Kendra wants something to make her feel alive and needed and the bad boy at school introduces her to the pleasure of sex - every kind imaginable as long as she stays a "virgin". Kendra knows she should stay away from him but she just can't , even though her best friend (who is also her aunt) has a thing for the same guy. Things fall apart and her grandmother sends Kendra to live with her mother who has just completed her PhD - forcing them both to grow up and accept responsibility for their actions. Kendra will be popular, especially with teens who live in urban areas. Booth doesn't pull any punches in depicting the lifestyle of urban teens - disturbing and all too real.

That's it for tonight. Too dang tired to write more!