A RIVER OF DUST Written by Jilanne Hoffmann Illustrated by Eugenia Mello (Chronicle Books;…
Yesterday I attended what has become an annual and much looked forward to event, the Mother/Daughter Book Party at Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse in La Canada.
Seven super talented female authors attended and lots more moms and daughters. I had a chance to sit down at each author’s table and learn more about the books they had written and I am delighted to be able to share that information with you. If you’ve got a 3rd – 6th grader who loves to read, here are some great books to choose from. Today I’ll cover San Luis Obispo author Robin Mellom’s middle grade novel.
Mellom has penned a clever mockumentary in book form called The Classroom: The Epic Documentary of a Not-Yet-Epic Kid ($12.99, DisneyHyperion, ages 9 and up), and it’s not just for girls. The title alone conjures humorous images but the illustrations by Stephen Gilpin really add the “you are there” quality that will bring a smile to every reader’s face. Mellom described the artwork as having a “Far Side” comic strip feeling, which it does, and which works perfectly considering the storyline.
Trevor is starting 7th grade and on his very first day he learns from his best friend Libby that he must find a date by day’s end for the dance that is just around the corner. If he doesn’t ask someone to the dance, all the girls he could invite would already have been asked spelling disaster for Trevor. Plus on top of all this, a film crew has come to the school and his every move will be captured up close and personal! This was not the 7th grade life he imagined and could it get any worse?
Kids will get a kick out of the way the book includes one funny antic after another. Also featured are “documentary-style” items found by the film makers to help paint a picture of Trevor such as drawings from Trevor’s notebook and an old yearbook picture. In a nutshell, if Trevor can just get through 7th grade until the big dance, things could turn out okay, even epic.
Reviewed by Ronna Mandel