Who Done It? Why Jon Scieszka, of course! by Teri Lesesne
Picking just one book to review for the Nerdy Book Club is no easy task for this book nerd. How to select just the perfect book to share knowing the wide range of folks who are part of this club could be daunting. I have read 200 or so books this year already. Which ONE should I share? I thought about teasing readers with one of these books only available in ARC. But I decided that might be cruel. However, here are the covers of three fall books everyone will want to have.
So, which book, DID I select? I wanted one that would reach a range of readers from the very young to the not quite so young. Ready for the big reveal?
Welcome to WHO DONE IT? AN ANTHOLOGY edited by Jon Scieszks (Soho Teen, 2013). At the heart of this anthology is the murder of one Herman Q. Mildew, an editor of books who was not much loved at all. As a matter of fact, there are MANY who might be suspects in his death. And so, they are gathered together to offer their alibis for the murder. Who are the suspects? They represent the illuminati of literature for youth including Mac Barnett, John Green, Lemony Snicket, Rebecca Stead, Jordan Sonnenblick, Adam Gidwitz, and a host of others. Each of the suspects offers her or his alibi. Libba Bray protests that she could not have committed the crime because, as everyone knows, she never does things according to a deadline (pun intended); Mo Willems offers his alibi, an airtight one: he was busily murdering someone else at the time.
Here is the perfect book for doing short readings over the course of weeks. Plus, I think, this could easily be a Mentor Text. We could create anthologies of other artists (actors, singers, artists, etc.) and have students fashion alibis for individuals using research they have conducted. The book would also give students a chance to read aloud as we could let them pick their own favorites to read aloud to the class if they liked. The bottom line is that this is a book members of the Nerdy Book Club will love themselves. I spent time browsing alibi after alibi, and I suspect students will enjoy doing the same.
Jon Scieszka has dedicated a considerable part of his life and career to reaching out to readers, most notably with Guys Read, a website filled with all manner of resources of books and recommendations for guys (boys) at www.guysread.com. Now, Guys Listen is up and running at http://www.guyslisten.com/. Dip into the treasure trove at both of these sites. And take some time to enjoy the alibis in WHO DONE IT?
One final note: the proceeds from sales of the book benefit 826NYC, a nonprofit organization that provides homework help, classroom volunteers, and much more.
Teri Lesesne a proud member of the #nerdybookclub. She no longer has to apologize for holing up in her room with a book or burying her nose in a book. You can visit her book blog at: http://professornana.livejournal.com You can find her on Twitter as @ProfessorNana.