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Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Verissimo, Luis Fernando: Borges and the Eternal Orangutans | Main | Nichols, Judy: Caviar Dreams »

Robinson, Barbara: The Best School Year Ever

  

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HarperTrophy © 1997, 128 pages -- ages 9-12 [amazon]
4 stars

In The Best School Year Ever 6th-grader Beth Bradley tells the story of the Herdman family, whose six children--one enrolled per year--terrorize Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, as well as the small town in which it's set. There's a new story of Herdman-related mischief in each chapter of the book, from the time the Herdman kids kidnapped a baby, drew on his bald head in permanent marker, and sold tickets to the viewing, to Leroy Herdman's various snake-related pranks, to the Herdmans' theft of a tableful of refreshments on talent show night. The Herdmans, in short, cause the sort of chaos that the author's target readers will find appealing. The Herdman stories are bracketed by Beth's discussion of the class project her teacher set on the first day of the year: everyone in the sixth grade was required to think of something nice to say about everyone else in the class--not an easy task if the student you're trying to compliment is a Herdman. Obviously the problem of complimenting a Herdman classmate is addressed and resolved at the book's end, and I like in particular the author's not-too-preachy, just right conclusion.

It's amusing, for example, (when you get over the real-life scariness of the kidnapping) to imagine the Herdmans displaying a "tattooed" baby for profit (if you also forget that the kid would surely be unhappy and uncomfortable if this were really happening to him)--but it's not the sort of thing that would happen outside of the Our Gang comedies or Ed, Edd n Eddy's cul-de-sac.Robinson's book is written in a charming, folksy style, as this threat from one of the Herdmans illustrates: "You leave that blanket alone and you leave that kid alone or I'll wrap your whole head in chewing gum so tight they'll have to peel it off along with all your hair and your eyebrows and your lip skin and everything!" The problem with this particular patch of prose, though, is that I rather doubt that any sixth grader ever talked like this in real life. There are a number of other problems with credibility in the book as well. It's amusing, for example, (when you get over the real-life scariness of the kidnapping) to imagine the Herdmans displaying a "tattooed" baby for profit (if you also forget that the kid would surely be unhappy and uncomfortable if this were really happening to him)--but it's not the sort of thing that would happen outside of the Our Gang comedies or Ed, Edd n Eddy's cul-de-sac. This credibility gap may not bother a lot of kids, but it will distract at least some of Robinson's readers.

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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Comments

1.

i hate this book and absolutely will forever

2.

i hate dis bukkkk !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3.

dis is the best bookkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk i luv it

4.

heheh idk ;]

5.

I like it




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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.