Monday, September 10, 2012

MMGM -- Space Station Seventh Grade

First, I have a giveaway winner to announce:  The winner of the hardcover copy of IF I LIE by  Class of 2K12 author Corrine Jackson is:

KATHARYN VELA

Congrats and expect an email from me asking for your mailing address!


 *   *   *   *   *   *

Now for today's MMGM.  Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is the brainchild of Shannon Messenger.  Visit her blog for the links, or see my convenient sidebar to the right (and if you're not in there and you believe you should be, let me know).


Jerry Spinelli is one of my favorite authors. And not just because I've met him and I've actually seen him shopping in the bookstore several times!  You may remember my interview with him and my review of Jake and Lily from May. My all-time favorite Spinelli books are Stargirl and Maniac Magee.




Jerry said his favorite, of all the books he's written, is his first. Well, I was embarrassed that I'd never read the man's first book (at least, the first one he published, after four novels were rejected).  So I recently bought a copy and read it that same day.

Space Station Seventh Grade by Jerry Spinelli (Little, Brown, paperback published 1991, hardcover published 1982, probably best suited for ages 10 and up)

Source: paperback purchased at the bookstore

Synopsis (from the book cover): Seventh-grader Jason Herkimer struggles with all that junior high brings: pimples, puberty, football, school dances, and most of all, girls! 

Why I liked it:  It's written in first person and that twelve-year-old (and later thirteen-year-old) boy voice is perfect.  The dialog between Jason and his friends (and between Jason and his parents) is hilariously realistic. Jerry might have delved into his own boyhood and recalled everything good and bad about being a seventh-grade boy in the suburbs.  Or maybe he simply listened to his own six children!  The structure is straightforward: it follows the school year, with chapter titles like Hayrides, Football, Girls, Snow.  This is very much a boy book, but girls could read it too.  It's a little dated, but I find it refreshing to read a book in which no one has a computer or a cell phone, and they all spend a lot of time outside!

Note that the space station of the title is a project Jason is building.  It's something he brags about to Debbie Breen, the cheerleader he has a crush on. 

(I'll warn you that I was surprised to find the "s" word sprinkled throughout this book.  Yet in ten years as a bookseller, I've never heard any complaints about it from customers.)

What's your favorite Jerry Spinelli book? 

And I hope you all saw the Los Angeles Times article (as mentioned by PW's Children's Bookshelf) proclaiming that the field of children's lit is still growing!  That's fantastic news for everyone who reads or writes children's books.

19 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great book. I'm embarrassed to confess tat I've never read anything by Jerry Spinelli. I really need to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Start with STAR GIRL, Natalie. You would like that.

      Delete
  2. Maniac Magee. And you know, I've not read Space Station Seventh Grade!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deb! Ah, yes, I believe MANIAC MAGEE is his masterpiece. My son didn't care for it, but I loved it. Glad I'm not the only one who hadn't read SPACE STATION.

      Delete
  3. Should I even publicly admit this? Probably not. But here goes. I haven't read any of Jerry Spinelli's books. I don't know why, but I will change that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and Natalie can keep each other company, then! Hope you do add one of his to your TBR list.

      Delete
  4. You can never go wrong with Jerry Spinelli!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shannon! Good to see you again! And that's so true.

      Delete
  5. How fun that he likes his first book. And that's it's cell-phone and computer free. (That's quite a problem for those of us writing fiction set in the present!) I'll have to look out for SPACE STATION.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure if he wrote it today, the kids would have cell phones. Then again maybe not.

      Your older boys might like his books, Michael.

      Delete
  6. I haven't read any of his books, but I'll have to check them out. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have not read any books by this author, but thanks for bringing them to my attention! My son is 10 and will start middle school next year... he loves reading, but has not read a lot of contemporary/realistic "boy fiction," besides the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, so I will have to check this one out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another who hasn't read Jerry Spinelli! Hope you do manage to fit one of his books onto your TBR list, Julie. And your son might like them too. :)

      Delete
  8. Okay, I'm another one who hasn't read any of his books. But I did put Jake and Lilly on my to-read list after you recommended it in the spring. I will add Star Girl too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to amend my comment. I was looking at Jerry Spinelli books on Goodreads and I HAVE read one of his books - Who Put That Hair in My Toothbrush? I loved it back in the day!

      Delete
    2. Yay, Jennifer! That one sounds like fun -- but I haven't read it yet.

      Delete
  9. Oh, I haven't read this one! Or Jake and Lilly. But I did enjoy Stargirl.

    ReplyDelete
  10. A MG book with the "s" word sprinkled through? I must find out for myself. :D
    Thanks for the feature.

    ReplyDelete

YAY for comments! I read and appreciate each one and I always try to answer. All opinions welcome. Let's have a conversation.