This is a really intriguing review of a young-adult book. I admit, I hand over a certain percentage of adult science-fiction or fantasy books to my pre-teen crowd, but generally ones I’ve read myself, or if at least where I am relatively familiar with the author. But, not everything labelled ‘young adult’ is appropriate for a bright nine-year-old, I know. The Fourth Stall in particular has me wondering.
I’ve requested it via the library, and I’ll put my own review here at some point. (update: here is my review)
….The emotional landscape of boys is rich in The Fourth Stall, with plenty of moral ambiguity to cause a careful reader to double-back on their assumptions the same way Mac is forced to throughout the investigations….
I keep thinking there has to be a name for this appropriation of adult genres into children’s books; taking hard boiled detective, or in this case the gangster-crime boss drama, and layering the stories over a school setting.
Odder still, they seem to be winking to an adult audience in doing so, giving a knowing nod to those who would get the book’s cultural references. The Fourth Stall has a cover that clearly references the book jackets and movie posters for The Godfather. Is a middle school kid going to get the reference?
I only mention it because of the trend within family-centered movies to include references to keep adult chaperones engaged.
via the excelsior file.