Pullman doesn’t mince words

It seems that libraries are having a tough time everywhere, even in England.  According to an article in The Guardian, more than 600 libraries are threatened with closure.

But in England, at least, libraries have a new “no bullshit” champion.  Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials trilogy,  isn’t one to mince words.  At a national conference of library campaigners, he called on the participants to fight against stupidity, referencing Brent council’s suggestion that closing half of its libraries would help it fulfill “exciting plans to improve libraries”.  This has got to be one of the more absurd statements I’ve come across lately.  Pullman obviously thought so too. He suggested that Brent council’s ludicrous suggestion “ought to be quoted in every anthology of political bullshit from here to eternity”.

Right on Mr. Pullman.

Great Books for 10-12 Year Old Boys

One of the kid’s lit groups I belong to was asking about books for 10-12 year old boys.  There are so many wonderful books for this age group.  If you know a young boy in this age group, here are a few new and old but good titles to consider.

Here are a few of my recommendations:

Morris Gleitzman
Toad Rage
Toad Away

Gary Paulsen
Dog Song
Escape From Fire Mountain

Michael Morpurgo
An Elephant in the Garden
Dear Ollie

Philip Pullman
I was a Rat,
The Homework Machine,
The Golden Compass and The Amber Spyglass (for sophisticated readers, but the 3rd book is rather dark)

Richard Scrimger
The Nose From Jupiter
A Nose for Adventure
From Charlie’s Point of View

Cornelia Funke
Inkspell  (the last in the series was quite dark)
she also has some books for younger readers but can’t recall names off hand

Kenneth Oppel
Silver Wing
Sun Wing (2 more in the series.  all are good)
Airborn (the first in a series but also works as a stand alone)

Arthur Slade
The Hunchback Assignments
Monsterology: Fabulous Lives of the Creepy, the Revolting, and the Undead  (quite tongue and cheek)
Invasion of the IQ Snatchers

Lemony Snicket
A Series of Unfortunate Events
(series plus the unauthorized autobiography which is very funny)

Do you have any must read titles to suggest?  If so, please post them in the comments.