Friday, March 09, 2007

Observation and a Review

One of the trends of 2006 was without a doubt bad parenting. Whether it was an abusive mother or father or a parent addicted to drugs or alcohol...or a neglectful parent who was prone to leaving their children untended for hours or days or weeks at a time...or a little from all of the above.

    Bad Mothers
  • The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
  • The Road to Paris by Nikki Grimes
  • Saint Iggy by K.L. Going
  • Returnable Girl by Pamela Lowell
  • Skate by Michael Harmon
  • The Possibility of Fireflies
  • The Summer of Kings by Han Nolan
  • Wait for Me by An Na
  • Buried by Robin MacReady
  • Tyrell by Coe Booth
  • Out of Focus by Margaret Buffie

    Bad Fathers
  • Friend at Midnight by Caroline B. Cooney
  • Burned by Ellen Hopkins
  • Gossamer by Lois Lowry
  • Time Bomb by Nigel Hinton

Nolan, Han. 2006. Summer of Kings.

(Into this fine trend comes SUMMER OF KINGS. Esther's mom pales in comparison to the truly horrific ones...but she has several problems: nothing her daughter does is ever good enough...she never has a kind or encouraging word to say to her daughter...she is overly critical....and she purposefully favors her other children. Esther feels unloved, unappreciated, and resentful of the way her mother treats her.) First of all, I should mention that A SUMMER OF KINGS is set in 1963. Esther is a fourteen year old girl on the verge of life. She does not want to grow up. She doesn’t want to change. She wants everything to remain the way it always has been. Safe. Secure. But all that changes the summer when King Roy comes to stay with her family. Suddenly, she doesn’t know what to believe anymore. As a black man, eighteen years old, he is accused of murdering a white man--a fireman in Alabama. His mother thinks he’s innocent, but what is a person to think? He is an angry young man. A man turned off by Martin Luther King, Jr. and embracing the ‘radical’ ideas of Muslim and Malcolm X. Is there room in his heart or hers for friendship? What can these two teach each other about life and the world? One thing is certain, after this summer her life will never be the same.

No comments: