Sunday, January 25, 2009

January YA Pick

My YA pick for January is Tyrell by Coe Booth. This one is definitely YA and not appropriate for the upper el reader, due to explicit sexual content, drugs, and some violence.

Tyrell is a teen-aged boy whose father is locked up and who has become homeless with his mother and younger brother. He is trying to stay out of trouble and be a good older brother and boyfriend, but he is in the middle of a lot of complicated situations and emotions. He tries to make some money to take care of his family by throwing a big party like his father, a DJ, used to do, and the plot thickens. There is enough of a turn in direction at the close of this book to take it as a resolved ending if the story is looked at very simply, but this is really one of those books that has a pretty unresolved ending, and should stay that way, if one pays closer attention. Little about real life and growing up and the tough situations that happen to people can be tied up in neat bows, and I didn't think this author tried to do that. I thought the book was very well-written and compelling and illuminated an all too real character in an all too real life situation the way that only good fiction can.


Andrea said...

Sounds interesting...will have to keep it filed away in the back of my mind for many (hopefully many, many, many) years down the road. Would be interested in seeing a list of books you recommend for upper el (what does el mean?) readers. M just read Prince Caspian with his dad and now they're starting Wizard of Oz.

Lone Star Ma said...

Elementary. But he's early elementary, right - seven? My list for that age would be different. I love the Narnia books. Wizard of Oz is great but I found it pretty scary. The LSG and I read a lot of girlie books like the Little House books, the Betsy-Tacy books and the Ramona books when we were little. The Fudge books, too, though - those aren't so girly. And Bruce Coville's magic shop books, but not all of them as some are scary. She liked a very silly easy-reader type series called The Secret of Droon for a long time and I think we started on Harry Potter at nine. Which would be about right for The Once And Future King and also for the Arthur and he Seeing Stone books, which are lovely. Greek mythology. Let me know if you want the adolescent list!