Saffy's Angel

Elizabeth Parks mep3 at
Mon Jan 14 16:58:26 EST 2002

Nice to hear from you--I know how the 'busy with school' thing works.
Been that way myself many times.

Try Louis Sachar's Dogs Don't Tell Jokes--it's at the same school as Boy
in the Girl's Bathroom--might even be the same person.  I remember liking
those books because htey (as opposed to Holes) had two strong points--the
main character was completely real and identifiable with and all of
his/her trials were no more important than the humor.  The humor was an
integral part, as I remember, and it seemed like the author really worked
at it as opposed to having it as a nice extra.  Someday Angeline is
another book in that arc.

Just been to Amazon to look up the title of my favorite of his books (say
what you will, it's a nice resource) and I have found it: Sixth Grade
Secrets.  It's about two clubs in a sixth grade class and I don't remember
why I loved it so much, exactly, but I've read it a dozen times,

And for some reason thinking of this has reminded me of a set of books by
Barthe DeClements.  The younger ones are called things like Nothing's Fair
in Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade Wizards, Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You,
etc, and they focus on a group of kids who go through the same schools.
Some of them are friends, some of them aren't, but the one character I
really remember is Elsie.  She shows up in Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade
and then shows up in two novels of her own, How Do you Lose those Ninth
Grade Blues and Seventeen and In-Between.  I know the titles sound really
cheesey but the books aren't.  The author was a school psychologist for a
long time, apparently (read it on Amazon!) and sometimes the books seem a
little moralistic--you know, be nice to the fat/ld/annoying/whatever kid,
but I think they're good.  Actually, I'm now dying to go reread them.

Books I never liked?  The Wayside School series.  Most people in my
elementary school loved them.  I always thought that they were pretty


On Mon, 14 Jan 2002, Hallie O'Donovan wrote:

> This is Becca, writing after WAY too long (I could say I've been busy 
> with school, but then I'd be lying. So let's just leave it at that.) 
> My mom has been asking and asking for me to write with my book 
> recommendation so I will!
> One of my favourite authors in the whole world EVER is Hilary McKay, 
> and I discovered her almost completely all by myself. Mom bought a 
> book of hers from Scholastic book orders when we were in Tucson but 
> never read it, and I picked it up about 3 years later. I loved it so 
> much that I even forked out FIFTY WHOLE PENCE for the next book in 
> the series (it was the Exiles series, and I read The Exiles first and 
> then The Exiles at Home) in a used book shop, and I bought the third 
> book in the series, The Exiles in Love, for a ferry trip to Holyhead. 
> The books are really amazing. Not amazing like literary amazing, but 
> amazing because the people are so real and interesting and cool and 
> hilarious and eccentric, and everything is so perfect and touching 
> and funny.
> (I read all the Exile books so many times that when Mom came to read 
> them to Cara, I would constantly stop her because she wasn't saying 
> something right or in the right tone of voice for the character.)
> I got her most recent book, Saffy's Angel, for Christmas. It's even 
> better than the Exiles series. I really loved it.
> I ALSO got There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom for Christmas, by the 
> author of Holes, whoever that is. Louis Sacher or Lois Sacher or 
> something. Anyway I thought it was even better than Holes, and I 
> stayed in the bath for so long I was BLUE until I finished it.
> Becca
> --
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