About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bizarre Excuses

The Cat Ate My Gym Suit  
by Paula Danziger      
Format: Paperback, 148 pages  
Publisher: Yearling (1983)
Rated 3 stars of 5 possible

Marcy Lewis, a girl with a poor self-image and a slight weight problem hates gym class, so she gives her teacher some bizarre and untrue excuses why she can't particpate in the class activities. This book's title is just one of those excuses. Then, along comes Ms. Finney, a new English teacher who does not believe in saluting the flag and teaches her classes using controversial methods that make the more conservative members of the community - including Mr. Stone, the school principal - feel uncomfortable. Marcy's father is also opposed to the methods used by Ms. Finney. The thing is, Ms. Finney not only teaches good English and makes her classes interesting, she also teaches good commuication skills, thinking outside the box, and gives the students a new-found confidence in themselves.

The concept is good, the writing decent, but the humor falls flat all too often, so I'm downgrading the rating of this book to just three stars because I don't feel the story has the impact it could possibly have. Of the suporting cast of characters, Marcy's mother could be a little more aware that she's probably a big part of her daugher's weight problem by serving ice cream whenever Marcy comes home after a bad day at school - of which there are far too many... Mother, of course does realize her contribution to Marcy's excess weight but is rather slow to do anything about it; nor does Marcy ever seem to realize what she is doing to herself.

And then there's the little brother, Stuart. He loves Marcy with the innocence that only very young children seem to have, but he's far too cute and is not just a scene stealer but a complete show-stealer. Too much focus is on little brother. More focus should be on Marcy, since she is the main character and little Stuart only part of a large supporting cast.

Recommended for Paula Danziger fans... and might be usable as a discussion book in junior highschool English classes.  Regrettably, it's not for everyone.

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