Monday, February 27, 2012

Swim the Fly

Swim the Fly  by Don Calame
15-year-old Matt and his buddies Sean and Cooper have a long-standing tradition:  at the beginning of each summer, they set a challenge for themselves.  This year the challenge is to see a real live girl naked.  Magazines don't count, the internet doesn't count, family members don't count.  The boys are absolutely focused on their goal...except when they get distracted by poop, masturbation, and the attractions of the girl's locker room. 

Over-the-top comedy and crazy situations (like the time the boys dress up as girls, or the time they hide in a closet during a party, or the time they try to peek over the top of dressing room) had me literally laughing out loud.  Give this to boys who enjoy Three-Stooges-esque humor and poop jokes.  A sweet romance between Matt and a girl is a surprise to the main character, but savvy readers will see it coming.

Recommended for readers (especially boys) ages 12 to adult.  Underage drinking, mild cussing and *yes* there is a naked woman...but no sex. 

Monday, February 13, 2012


Entwined  by Heather Dixon
audiobook read by Mandy Williams
Princess Azalea is the eldest of many sisters, and heir to throne of Eathe.  When her mother dies giving birth to the twelfth princess, her father the king declares that the entire household will observe mourning for an entire year:  no playing in the garden, no colorful dresses, and worst of all: no dancing.  The princesses are determined to dance...and when they discover a secret, magical ballroom beneath the fireplace presided over by the handsome and magical Mr. Keeper, it seems like the perfect solution. But Mr. Keeper has darker plans for the princesses...and for the kingdom.

This delightful retelling of Grimm's classic tale about twelve dancing princesses has a few charming twists. The characters of Azalea and her sisters as well as the king and a few remarkable princes and ministers make for an enchanting read.  Although the original tale was also inspiration for Jessica Day George's Princess of the Midnight Ball (2009), readers will find that this story is darker and more satisfying.

The audiobook is deftly read by Mandy Williams, who manages to gracefully convey the differences between twelve dance-obsessed daughters without tripping either herself or the listener.

No cussing or nekkidness.  Some charmingly clandestine kisses and lots and lots of dancing.  Recommended for readers ages 10 to adult.