Monday, April 19, 2010

More reading for boys

I just finished BOOM! by Mark Haddon of CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG . . . fame (I can never get that title right). Anyway. There's no doubt that Haddon can write for both children and young adults. And I completely adored his adult novel A SPOT OF BOTHER (be warned, though--there are graphic bits). But BOOM! is pretty disappointing. It's a middle-grade novel for boys, based on an earlier middle-grade novel Haddon wrote that went in and out of print pretty quickly. The premise is this: two friends begin to suspect that several of their teachers are aliens. Real ones.

The first half is terrific--funny and snappy and yes. I wanted to find out what happens. But the second half of the novel fell flat for me, although it's possible that young boys might like the wack-a-doo humor. I could be wrong about this, but it feels like Haddon sort of wrote himself into a corner and didn't know how to get out of it. I've done that myself. A lot, actually.

For Hamburger Club this weekend we went to Best Burger in North Salt Lake, which is my Brother the Doctor's fave joint. I liked it. The best thing was the fry sauce which had a smoky taste and bouquet.

I know. It's a problem when I start talking about fry sauce as though it's a wine.


Amy Jo Lavin said...

Go visit my dad's restaurant (Leatherby's). Best fry sauce. Ever. I might be biased though. :)

LucindaF said...

I'm cracking up because I had no idea a fry sauce could have a bouquet. ha ha

Ann, you could so be Mrs. Bucket.

Erin said...

You are right though. There isn't many good/well written books for boys in the teen years. I always tell my students that if I have to hear one more book report on Twilight I am going to lose it. I should also add that if the only two books/series that boys read is Cirque de Freak (I still haven't read any of those) and Gary Paulsen, then there must be slim pickings. I don't have anything against Paulsen, but I get tired of him too.