Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Thou Shalt Not Dump The Skater Dude (And Other Commandments I Have Broken) by Rosemary Graham

"I was surprised, because I'd always thought about blogging as a girl thing,
filled with ramblings about crushes and fights about friends and mothers."
-- from Thou Shalt Not Dump The Skater Dude by Rosemary Graham

Thou Shalt Not Dump The Skater Dude (And Other Commandments I Have Broken) by Rosemary Graham (Viking, 2005). Kelsey is trying to adjust to the sudden move to the west coast. She is excited at the prospect of a new school (preferably of her own choosing). Her divorced parents seem to be getting along a lot (too much?) better. And then, boom! A hand reaches out to her as if from on high. It's supersmooth C.J. Logan, California "It" Boy AKA "The Skater Dude." At his side, she's in--into the hottest social scene, in somebody's arms. But "side" is the key word there, as in "sidelines." How long can Kelsey endure of C. J.'s accessory, and what if she dares to do the unthinkable? What if she dumps The Skater Dude? Ages 12-up. Read an excerpt.

My Thoughts

(Beware of possible spoilers below; read at your own risk!)

After you read this book, surf over to cjloganland.com to read The Skater Dude's blog and get his side of the story. Loving the whole fictional-character-blogging thing.

Then, if you haven't already, check into the Hippie Hotel, and learn more about My Not-So-Terrible Time at the Hippie Hotel by Rosemary Graham (Viking, 2003; Puffin, 2005), and read an excerpt.

Thou Shalt Not Dump The Skater Dude (And Other Commandments I Have Broken) was recognized as the "Title That Takes The Most Liberty With Biblical Directives" by Publisher's Weekly in Silly Salutations of the Season.

Kelsey's mother attends Boalt Hall, the University of California's most competitive law school. If I remember correctly, this is one of the schools that was on my list, but I went to The University of Michigan Law School instead. Apparently, I'm allergic to pleasant weather. In any case, it totally rang true to me that as a 1L she sees potential torts everywhere.

Bonus points for Mr. Rundle's discussion of Beloved by Toni Morrison.

Novel includes many great chapter titles; including: "I'll Take Skateboarding for $500, Alex"

Kelsey's many insights include one on new/used clothes: "Now that I thought about it, half the stuff at Abercrombie was fake-used. T-shirts with old-fashioned pictures and ads, and jeans made to look like they'd been worn for years. Weird."

Laura Ruby, author of Lily's Ghosts (HarperCollins, 2003) blurbs: "Smart, funny, and real, Thou Shall Not . . . is a delicious read, spiced with attitude and packed with girl power. Offers a new commandment to readers: Stand up for yourself, and the world is yours."

Absolutely! I wish I'd had the chance to read Thou Shalt Not . . . when I was a teenage girl. Kelsey is a witty, likable, totally believable heroine who realizes that she's complete unto herself. (I think I was about 35 when I finally reached that point).

Cynsational News & Links

Book Talk With Mary Williams, author of Brothers In Hope: Stories of the Lost Boys of Sudan, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (Lee & Low).

Laura Ruby has redesigned her site to become far more groovy, updated, and added a blog. Surf over and check it out!

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