Middler Books and More

This blog contains Bruce DuBoff's book reviews, info on other media, and related topics. It is a collaboration between the librarian and both the students of Pennsauken Intermediate School and Phifer Middle School in Pennsauken, NJ, and the general middler book reading community. The books featured here are appropriate for grades 5-8, though not all books reviewed here are appropriate for all of those ages.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Feed by M. T. Anderson (4 out of 4 stars)--This book rocks, as much as a book can. In its purest sense, it is a dystopia, or a vision of a flawed and ominous future in the tradition of Brave New World and 1984. It's the story of some teens who have a media feed in their heads and are constantly barraged by advertisements, fashion tips, trends, fads, and recommendations about every aspect of their personal and academic lives. Most people in this society have the feeds, and folks are gradually forgetting how to do things like read and write, because much of that stuff is done for them. Then the main character, Titus, meets a girl who cannot have the feed, and he learns a little about what the feed does to people, especially when the damage becomes more tangible and people start getting sick. Feed is a very powerful statement on media control. Big Brother is watching you!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry--(3 out of 4 stars)
This book reminded me a lot of The Giver. In fact, it is listed as a companion novel to her Newbery Award winning book. Gathering Blue has a female protagonist, Kira, who lives in a harsh post-apocalyptic society where only the strong survive. Kira should have been killed because of a deformity but she survives because she has a unique artistic gift.
This book is a great sci-fi novel and a powerful statement about the reality that artistic gifts are double-edged swords.