Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Zoo Review

So the blog was not working for days, and now it seems to be working. I know you were all freaking out.

I had a bunch of things I wanted to blog about, but I forget. One of the things was this dream I had. In real life, I will be doing a reading of Get Well Soon at The Book Stall in Winnetka, IL on October 6, and I know a bunch of my students will be there. I am worried about reading the swears aloud and am debating censoring the reading. So the dream was that I was on Oprah, holding a copy of Get Well Soon that was filled with crossed out words. I did a terrible reading, stuttering and blurring all of the words. And the worst part is that it was live. It’s such a classic dream situation. No question about what I was dreaming about there.

In other news, I got another great review of Get Well Soon. First I just have to say that I got one lame review in School Library Journal. That makes two for two lames reviews in SLJ (my first book, Toby and the Snowflakes, was reviewed by a college librarian. Hello? Do you even read to little kids? How would you know what they like?). I wasn’t going to blog about it, but now that I am vindicated by three good reviews to one bad one, I feel OK about. I think the reviewer had some serious issues with therapy of her own. She commented on the relationship with the mother in GWS, which was so insignificant (deliberately, by the way, so I wouldn’t upset my mom) and something a teen wouldn’t even notice. And she said something about my swearing, like it was unnatural or gratuitous (I don’t feel obligated to quote the review directly, since the review suggests that perhaps the reviewer didn’t look very closely at my book anyway. Nyah.), and if there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s swear. Whatev. Here’s my great Booklist review:

“I am a huge waste of life and space, and I’m tired of being alive and having to deal with it.” After a period of panic attacks, depression, and cutting school, Anna Bloom’s parents send her to Lakeland , a Chicago mental-health facility. In letters addressed to her best friend, Tracy, Anna recounts her three weeks in the adolescent ward. Debut author Halpern drew from her own teen experiences with depression, and Anne’s voice, filled with spot-on musings, sarcasm, slang, and swearing, is uproariously funny and authentic, whether offering vivid accounts of “Lake Shit’s . . . booger green and vomit brown” decor, bewildering therapy sessions, or the shock and pleasure of finding friends, romance, confidence, and belonging: “This place seems to erase all social stereotypes. There [is] absolutely no pressure to be cool or skinny or entertaining.” Many teens will connect with the vague anxiety that lands Anna in treatment as well as her subtle, realistic sense that her life is her own to value and shape.

— Gillian Engberg

My favorite line is “uproariously funny.” Love it!

1 comment:

A fan said...

I'm against "censoring" when reading books aloud.

Unless the venue where you will be reading has a problem with it, my vote is read it the way you wrote it.

No reason to change the dynamics of the book. If your students are there and hear it, does it really matter? They will be reading the book.

My vote, not that it matters, is no to censoring yourself!!