Saturday, August 25, 2007

Here At the Scenic-Vu Motel--Thelma Hatch Wyss

Here's a dirty secret about libraries--they throw away books. Even though I am immune to the sight of books in a dumpster due to the Great Law Firm Purge of '01, the idea of public libraries weeding out and tossing good books, books that I read and loved, makes me cry.

So sometimes I try to give them a little more life by taking out books I've read before and liked. This YA novel from 1988 is a good read but slight. It's the diary of Jake Callahan, who along with 6 other high schoolers is boarded at the Scenic-Vu Motel in Pine Flats, ID. They all come from a hippie family settlement up the mountain 90 minutes away, and the school board will not pay to run bus service up there for a handful of high school students, preferring to pay to board them in town.

Jake's a senior, which mean's he's the defacto leader of the bunch, keeps them on the honor roll and out of trouble with two rules-- "Work Hard" and "Have Fun." His journal details his attempts to come to grips with his unusual family, deal with the burden of being the grownup for the other 6 kids, and attempts to get a social life and some fun out of his last year of school. They all bond with the motel's owner, Mrs. Metz.

Wyss has an engaging voice, but the plot and characters are slim. Not an emotionally gripping tale, but when I was a kid way back when it was an enjoyable read.

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