Saturday, July 10, 2010

Simone Elkeles - a Great New Find for Me (and my students)!

Because my students recommended her books, I checked out three of Simone Elkeles' books from my library this summer. First I read Perfect Chemistry, and I discovered it is perfect. It is a wonderful love story. Maybe predictable, maybe familiar, but a perfect summer page-turner, guaranteed to please high school girls.
The video is a bit cheezy, but you get what the story is about (and the song is catchy, right?).

Next I started reading her trilogy which starts with How to Ruin a Summer Vacation. Now I believe I was in Israel in the 1980s with Ms. Elkeles. This novel about a sometimes spunky, sometimes annoying American teenager who visits an Israeli moshav with her Israeli father recalled some of my fond memories of living on a kibbutz every summer when I was a teen. I read the rest of the series, and although it isn't the most literary, it is certainly fun and many of my students will love it - especially my Jewish students, although kids who aren't Jewish will enjoy the stories of identity and romance as well.
Simone Elkeles has a great website with humorous video book trailers which capture the spirit of the characters of her novels. Take a look around - her site describes her books better than I can summarize them. I look forward to reading more of her books and to showing my students her engaging website.