Friday, July 18, 2008

There are so many books out right now about child geniuses so we decided to focus on a few og them this month

Something to think about relating to all three books:
What is each genius's attitude toward the "non-geniuses" around him or her?
How does that attitude direct the plot?
How does it affect the relationships they have with family and friends?

Millicent Min, Girl Genius, by Lisa Yee
Lisa Yee said she wrote this book because she wanted to write about a girl who was lonely. Why is Millicent lonely and what does she do about it? Is it her intellect that makes her lonely?
What do you think is Millicent's biggest problem?
As a parent, how would you deal with a child as smart as Millicent?
Were Millicent's parents as weird as she thought they were? What about Emily's mom?

Lisa Yee has some great blogs:

There are two companion books to Millicent Min, Girl Genius, both taking place the same summer but from different perspectives: Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time and So Totally Emily Ebers.

Since The Specialists and Evil Genius have some points in common, here are some questions that cover the two books.
What do you think of the plot device in which genius kids are "recruited" by organizations when they're very young? Do you think it could possibly happen in reality?
Not only are these kids smart, they're loners without family or friends. Do you think intelligence can isolate kids? Does isolation encourage smart kids to explore law-breaking (hacking in particular)?
In both books, the kids are genius computer hackers. Did you find the technical jargon hard to follow? If so, is there a generation gap here?

The Specialists: Model Spy, by Shannon Greenland
Did anyone else find the plot slightly ridiculous? I thought it was fluffy but still enjoyable.
Does Kelly's character change through her experiences? If so, how?
How are the specialists like a family? How are they not?
How well do you think teen readers would relate to Kelly and the other specialists?

Shannon Greenland's blogs: and

Evil Genius, by Catherine Jinks
Can you escape your upbringing?
What is it that awakens Cadel's sense of morality?
Blogger Fuse#8 wrote that "there's a powerful message here regarding love. That villains can and do love is something not a lot of children and teen books examine." What role does love play in Cadel's life?
Characters seem to have either intense love or intense hatred for Cadel. Why?
There are elements of the science fiction and superhero genres here. Did that draw you in or drive you back?
I thought the book was pretty dark, but with odd spots of humor. Do you think any of the humor was out of place? Did you find the book too dark for teens?

There's a sequel to Evil Genius out now (Genius Squad) and more planned in the series. The Axis Institute has a fun little web site where you can take a quiz to see if you're the kind of person who could get a degree in world domination: Also:
Looking for more books about child geniuses? Try The Artemis Fowl series or the Mysterious Benedict Society.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

Was anyone else wondering how they were going to pull off the second Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie? They departed so far from some major plot points in the first movie, that I didn't see how they could stick with the storyline from the books. I figured it was going to be another Princess Diaries 2 (since Princess Diaries 1 departed so far from the books, that the second movie's plot was totally made up and had nothing to do with the book series).

Well, word is out that the second movie will borrow plot from all of the books, but will be mostly based on the fourth book, Forever in Blue, which takes place during the summer between high school and college. Sounds like a smart move to me. I was also happy to note that they kept all of the original cast even though America Ferrera and Blake Lively have both been busy with wildly popular TV series.

It will be interesting to see if the second movies sticks closely to the books series and keeps readers happier than the first movie.