Review: Perry’s Killer Playlist by Joe Schreiber

perrys killer playlist

Perry’s Killer Playlist by Joe Schreiber

This second book in the Perry & Gobi series continues Perry’s story.  After surviving a wild night with Gobi, an assassin who disguised herself as a foreign exchange student, Perry’s band is doing very well and is now touring Europe.  He is dating a new girl, an older girl, who is sophisticated and completely out of his league.  But when the band travels to Venice, Perry can’t help but visit Harry’s Bar, the place the Gobi said she would meet him someday.  Gobi does show up, but once again she brings trouble with her.  Perry is once again drawn into her world of narrow escapes, bullets, guns, murder, trust and betrayal. 

Schreiber excels at creating books that are superbly readable.  This sequel is only a couple of hundred pages long and reads so quickly, the pages blur.  The pace is breakneck and wild, it’s a book that sweeps you up and you just have to know what happens next to these two characters. The setting of Europe lends a new vitality to the book as well.  It’s a pleasure to romp through Europe with these two.

The focus is on the action in this book and less on the characters, but I was pleased to see that we got to know Perry and particularly Gobi better in this book.  While she continues to be a mysterious figure, we are also shown tantalizing glimpses of what her life must have been like.  Perry serves as her perfect foil, reacting humanly to all of their escapades while Gobi remains cool and calm.  It probably helps that she is the one with the gun most of the time.

For fans of the first book, they will not be disappointed with the continued mayhem and action of this sequel.  This is a great series to hand to reluctant readers who will appreciate the fast pace and short length.  Appropriate for ages 13-16.

Reviewed from ARC received from Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.

Review: H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination by Christopher Myers


H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination by Christopher Myers

A basketball court + a ball + two kids = the perfect sum to play horse!  When two boys meet at the basketball court, they immediately invite one another to play horse or ghost.  It’s the game where one person takes a shot and then the other person has to try to match the shot exactly.  It starts out simply enough with a layup with your eyes closed, but watch where this game goes!  Filled with a banter that challenges one another to seek an even wilder idea, the two boys quickly start to talk about shooting a basket from the roof of a neighboring building when standing on one toe.  The Magellan shot takes it even further, with a jump across the ocean and around the world and a dunk with a tongue!  That’s not the end of the game though, you will just have to read it to see the final play.

I love the playfulness of this book and the friendly tone of the banter between the two boys.  The fact that not a single shot is actually thrown makes it very funny too.  This is not a challenge about sports but about imagination and thinking outside the court.  Myers writes with a feel for modern dialogue between teens that doesn’t resort to modern vernacular but instead has the perfect rhythm and posturing.  Myers’ art is equally modern with lanky boys against bright colored backgrounds.  He also mixes in photographs and builds collages that add texture and pattern. 

Great fun to read, it will have you challenged to a game of horse as soon as you can find a court and a ball.  My favorite shots were always with my eyes closed and backwards.  How about you?  Appropriate for ages 5-7. 

Reviewed from copy received from Egmont.