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Month in review

Reviews
Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
And Then You Dye by Monica Ferris
Aunt Flossie's Hats (and Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
Avenging the Owl by Melissa Hart
Bigmama's by Donald Crews
Cat With a Clue by Laurie Cass
Clarice Bean, Guess Who's Babysitting? by Lauren Child
Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet
Cy Whittaker's Place by Joseph C. Lincoln
Empty Places by Kathy Cannon Wiechman
The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore
Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
Honey by Sarah Weeks
It Ain't So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass
Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton
The Last Monster by Ginger Garrett
Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban
Pretty in Ink by Karen E. Olson
Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford
Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
Sea Change by Frank Viva
The Sculptor by Scott McCloud
Slacker by Gordon Korman
Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard by Jonathan Auxier
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
This is San Francisco by Miroslav Sasek
Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales
Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson

Miscellaneous
October Reading Summary

Previous month

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



Slacker: 10/24/16

Slacker by Gordon Korman

Take the animes Tanaka-kun is Always Listless and World God Only Knows and mix them together. Garnish with an elderly beaver and you get Slacker by Gordon Korman.

Cameron Boxer loves his basement. He loves spending his free time playing video games. He wants to beat the annoying Evil McKillPeople who always takes him and his teammates down. What he doesn't want to do is socialize with kids after school. He certainly doesn't want to join a club. Except, that his parents are forcing him to.

All that changes when Cameron doesn't hear his mother telling him to turn off the oven in ten minutes. With dinner ruined, the front door destroyed by the fire fighters, and the kitchen blackened with smoke, Cameron's parents give him an ultimatum — join a club at school or no more video games.

Now so far, Cameron's been like Keima of World God Only Knows but he also has a stubborn listless streak. He doesn't want to put in the extra work of joining a club. He doesn't want to take time away from video games, from the upcoming tournament. So he and his two besties create a fake club and give it a vague name.

And that's when things get really silly. As you can imagine, things quickly take on a life of their own, to the point that the middle school ends up in a head to head rivalry with the most popular club at the high school.

In the background of all of this, is Elvis, the last beaver in their town. The younger, healthier ones have all moved down stream away from the recent highway construction. All that's left is Elvis who can't really figure out how to beaver by himself.

Elvis is there as a symbol of what the town is about to lose. Like so many other small towns, Cameron's town is about to be bypassed by the highway. They have an off ramp now but it's in dire need of repair. The state, though, has decided there isn't enough traffic here to warrant a repair, so they're going to demolish it, forcing everyone to take a longer detour through a longer, suburban shopping outlet area down the road.

Now a freeway off ramp destruction seems like something from the 1960s or 1970s, but it still does happen. Ten years ago the removal of an off ramp near where I live was put into a freeway improvement plan. Two years later the off ramp was removed, forcing traffic to either exit one stop earlier or one stop later. In this case it was a minor inconvenience, one that we've all learned to live with, but for the people of Sycamore, it will mean the closure of stores and possibly the slow, painful death of the town.

Despite Cameron's initial reluctance to do any extracurricular activities, he does step up when his club grows. Cameron and his friends learn that they can have fun doing things other than playing video games.

Five stars

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