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The Automobile and American Culture edited by David Lanier Lewis
Brown Rabbit in the City by Natalie Russell
Cars Galore by Peter Stein
Cat Vs Human by Yasmine Surovec
The Cats in Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse
Clementine, Friend of the Week by Sara Pennypacker
Clink by Kelly DiPucchio and Matthew Myers
Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel by Ronda Thompson
Crunch by Leslie Connor
The Discworld Graphic Novels by Terry Pratchett
Fear the Amoeba by Jennifer L. Holm
Fullmetal Alchemist 26 by Hiromu Arakawa
Glasses: Who Needs 'Em? by Lane Smith
The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper
Hamlet: The First Quarto, 1603 by William Shakespeare with introduction by Albert B. Weiner
Houdini: The Handcuff King by Jason Lutes
Imaginary Communities by Phillip Wegner
It's My School by Sally Grindley
Lost Cat by C. Roger Mader
Louie's Search by Ezra Jack Keats
Me, Myself and Why? by MaryJanice Davidson
Please, Louise by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison
Powder River: Let Er Buck by Maxwell Struthers Burt
Rust: Visitor in the Field by Royden Lepp
Summerland by Michael Chabon
The Suwannee: Strange Green Land by Cecile Hulse Matschat
The Trip by Ezra Jack Keats
Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom by Shane W. Evans
Voltron Force Volume 5: Dragon Dawn by Brian Smith
The Warren Commission Report by Dan Mishkin
Women Aviators by Karen Bush Gibson

Miscellaneous
On playing Sherlock Holmes — or Sarah stares at shoes
Passports, boarding passes, and other carry on items — or Sarah loses things

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Fear the Amoeba: 07/20/15

Fear the Amoeba by Jennifer L. Holm:

Fear the Amoeba by Jennifer L. Holm is the sixth book in the Squish series. The new hot horror movie is out and Squish doesn't want to be left out. There's just one problem: he's afraid of scary movies!

Holm's graphic novels seem really obsessed with peer pressure. Sure, it's a thing. And sure some kids are pressured into doing things they otherwise wouldn't want to do, or are bullied for not wanting to participate. But making book after book based on peer pressure gags and lessons gets repetitive, less effective a message, and frankly, dull!

In the case of the horror movie — which features a water-bear — there's the problem of all these elementary school aged children going to a horror movie unsupervised. Perhaps in the petri dish that is Squish's universe there isn't a movie ratings system, but in the world where the children will be reading it, there is. The tamest of horror films are rated PG-13 and the most violent ones are rated R. Given that the water-bear movie appears to be in the Aliens ilk, I'd suspect it would have an R rating. So where are the adults? How has this horror film of all things become the new big hit of Squish's elementary (or possibly middle school)?

Two frames from Squish

I'm not saying that children don't (or shouldn't) watch horror films, but it's not something that usually done en masse in a first run theater without any parents. Horror films and children are usually brought together with slumber parties or late night cable (or now Netflix) watching.

So ultimately what sets me off this book isn't Squish being afraid of horror movies or even being dismayed at their sudden popularity, it's the unrealistic set up for this morality play. And so often with the Babymouse and Squish books, it's the situation that causes the most trouble. These set ups are poorly thought out, leaving many missed opportunities for relatable conflict and humor.

Three stars

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