Monday, January 10, 2005

I had a free afternoon on Saturday, so I finally visited the new Santa Clara City Library to pick up a book that we don't carry. While I was there I grabbed a couple of YA novels that I read that day. The first one was Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix. This is a cute story of Cinderella after she's engaged to the Prince and moved into the castle. Turns out the prince is a bore, the activities are mindless, and her tutors are determined to stamp out her personality. I liked this one a lot and it made me remember how much I like Haddix's books.

The next book was The Geography Club by Brent Hartinger about a group of gay students in high school in a small town who form a club, but to avoid being hassled about being gay, decide to call it the Geography Club thinking that no one but them would join it. The usual cliches are there: homophobic jocks (one of them in the closet), an influential reverend, an outspoken health teacher, the social outcast, etc. but it never really felt too contrived. Maybe because it was more about the students finding and supporting each other. Or maybe because there wasn't the usual big showdown with the whole town or a typical happy ending. Sure, lessons are learned about tolerance, but it wasn't too heavy handed, which was nice.

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