Written by: Derf Backderf
First line: It's the next path on the left.
Why you should read this book: You've never read anything like this detailed, visual, honest, and often humorous account of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's adolescent years, as recalled by one of the boys he considered his closest friends in school. Dahmer's early obsession with death, his horrible home life, his full-blown alcoholism, and the terrifying pull of his frightening sexuality are all here, but so are the elements that, according to the author, make Dahmer a sympathetic character and his story—to a point—a tragedy. Here is the portrait of young man desperate to belong but destined to remain separate from the world, quashing his own myriad demons just as long as he can before the world caves in around him.
Why you shouldn't read this book: Depressing moments, gruesome moments, and the inevitable awful outcome.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Written by: Derf Backderf
Written by: Malin Alegria
First line: According to my mom, a girl's fifteenth birthday is supposed to be the biggest day of her life.
Why you should read this book: Estrella really loves her family and her culture, but ever since she started attending a fancy private school on scholarship, she finds them both a little embarrassing, compared to those of her rich white friends. The more her mother's plans spiral out of control, the more Estrella pulls away from the people who love her, until she realizes that she's alienated everyone who cares. It takes all her social know-how to appease her parents, make amends with her friends, and host a quinceañera that's traditional enough to make everyone happy.
Why you shouldn't read this book: This story has been done in different cultures or different age groups, to much better effect.
Written by: Dr. Seuss (writing as Theo LeSieg)
First line: I wish that I had duck feet.
Why you should read this book: A classic easy reader, this book follows an imaginative boy's flights of fancy as he considers how various mutations would make him more popular around town, particularly with local girls, while creating problems with his parents and the school bully. Hearkens back to its origins in the 60s, when the debate over conformity really began to heat up, but concludes that being a freak is dangerous and unfulfilling. Seuss used this pseudonym for books he wrote but did not illustrate; both the text and the pictures are darling.
Why you shouldn't read this book: You constantly assure your precious little snowflake that they can be anything they want to be.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Written by: Joann Sfar