Friday, August 11, 2017
Fiction Friday: The School Ship Tobermory Books
The only reason I know about these books is that I saw the first one, "School Ship Tobermory," on sale*** at the great Camas Public Library. I read it, rather, skimmed through it, in a very short time. I don't know who it's meant for.
Ah, here, from the Amazon blurb: It's the "first volume in a middle-grade adventure-mystery series perfect for boys and girls!" Note the exclamation point!
I don't get that whole system of grading for children's books, but I guess it could be read and enjoyed by a middle-schooler. I'm sending my copy to a grandson, and I'll let you know if he likes it. I doubt that he'll even pick it up, though, since the cover makes it look like it's for little kids, and the illustrations are disappointing at best.
Still, I don't want to criticize Alexander McCall Smith, whose writing I usually enjoy, and I see the reviews at Amazon are mostly very favorable. So maybe I'm just unaware of the reading habits of middle-graders, whoever those may be. Maybe all these kinds of books make me grumpy. Could be.
Still, when I saw that the second in the series, "The Sands of Shark Island," was available to check out at the great Camas Public Library, I placed a hold on it and read through it---skimmed, more like---in about 30 minutes. Same thing. Ho-hum, predictable, stock and standard "adventure story" for kids who (I think) are accustomed to more flash and bang.
Tell you what: Since I'm certainly not the one to make a judgment on how these books will go over with their intended audience, I'm going to see what some of my "middle-grade" friends think of these books, and I'll let you know.
For sale online at Amazon: Good Ship Tobermory, starting at less than $7.00, and
The Sands of Shark Island, just under $10.00, new, for less, used.
***The great Camas Public Library has two or three book sales every year, and I try to be one of the first ones there. So someone else had read this book and didn't want to keep it. That's a review in itself, isn't it.