Thursday, March 13, 2008

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - Not the End of the World and 10 Things to Do Before I Die

Once again, I'm behind on posting and finished 2 books before I got to the posting. Here goes...

The first one was Geraldine McCaughrean's Not the End of the World. It's a different look at the story of Noah and the Ark. If you're a strong believer in the Bible being absolutely, literally correct, I probably wouldn't recommend this one to you. It would just get your blood pressure up to unacceptable levels. On the other hand, if your reaction to the Noah story was to ask questions like: Why didn't the lions eat half of the other animals? Weren't they quickly up to their armpits in animal doodoo? If you wipe out all but one family, don't you need to violate another one of God's laws in order to go forth and multiply? then you'd probably enjoy this book. It tells the story from several people's (and occasional animals') perspectives, but primarily from the point of view of Timna, a daughter of Noah that is not named in the Bible. An unnamed daughter wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibilities in a time period in which women were essentially considered property rather than people. Timna tries to maintain her sanity, as well as her health, while stuck in an unsanitary, confined space, trying to hide two young stowaways from her father. I really enjoyed it. Judge for youself, whether it might be for you.

The other one I just finished was Daniel Ehrenhaft's 10 Things to Do Before I Die. At the beginning of a school break, Ted's friends, Mark and Nikki, decide that Ted needs to live a little, and start a list of 10 things he should do before he dies. Little did they know that shortly after that, the disgruntled fry cook in their favorite diner would spike the fries (which Ted loves and eats virtually every day) with a poison that kills you in 24 hours. They decide that it's now or never on the list. The first few items on the list involve alcohol and women, but they are actually handled quite well. On the surface, this sounds like it should be pretty depressing, but the book is well-written, with plenty of humor and likeable characters. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Not for younger middle-schoolers, but otherwise I'd highly recommend it, especially for reluctant readers, since it's a quick read that flows well.

No comments: