Friday, April 22, 2005

So how excited was I when I found out that Rob Thomas, creator of two of my favorite TV shows ever (the unfairly cancelled and sorely missed Cupid and the fantastic Veronica Mars), used to write YA novels? Very. We have a few of them here and last night I read two of them. His first novel was Rats Saw God about a high school student in danger of not graduating. In order to do so his counselor makes him write a 100 page essay on a topic of his choice. Following the saying, "write what you know," he writes about his parents' divorce, falling in love, and why he stopped caring about school. A lot of the humor (especially the school club Grace Order of Dadaists, or GOD) and the dialogue reminded me of The Obnoxious Jerks, one of my favorite YA novels. It's a funny and touching book and I think I'm going to get myself a copy to put in my YA section at home.

Next I read Green Thumb which is one of his later books and aimed at a younger audience. The main character, Grady, is a thirteen-year-old genius who joins a botany project in Brazil for the summer. When he gets there he discovers the new experimental trees the botanists have engineered are actually toxic to the environment, but gets chased out of camp and has to hide with a local tribe of Indians while trying to come up with a way to stop the project. There's also some wish fulfillment of course; Grady fills out over the summer and gets revenge on the bullies back at home. It's actually pretty dark for a kids book, with several deaths and environmental issues taking center stage.

I've got one more I'm in the middle of (and loving) and a couple more on hold. And Veronica Mars just got picked up for a second season. Awesome.

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