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I Was a Teenage Popsicle and Beyond Cool by Bev Katz Rosenbaum

July 3rd, 2007 (07:12 pm)
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Imagine getting sick, falling asleep, and waking up to find out an entire decade has passed in the blink of an eye. That's what happened to sixteen-year-old Floe Ryan in the book I Was a Teenage Popsicle by Bev Katz Rosenbaum.

Floe grew very sick very quickly, afflicted with the same horrible disease that attacked her parents, who opted to be vitrified (frozen) until a cure was found. They froze Floe also, wanting their eldest daughter to be saved too. Ten years later, Floe is thawed out. She discovers that her younger sister is all grown up and that her parents are still vitrified. While her life was suspended, it completely changed.

It sounds heavy, but it is actually a very light read. A comedy suitable for middle school and high school readers, Popsicle has plenty of laugh-out-loud licks. Though there are spots of science, the book is set not too far in the future and is more about family and friends than sci-fi and experiments. The book's central plot -- saving the cyrogenics center where her parents are, er, residing comfortably -- makes the story more about social action, and the main character's main concerns are fitting in, being accepted by her new classmates, and reconnecting her family. These universal themes, funny bits and hip Southern California setting are sure to make this Popsicle irresistible to teens.

The sequel, Beyond Cool, hit stores the following summer. It picked right up on the Popsicle trail, following Floe's further attempts to fit into the modern-day world. Fans of I Was a Teenage Popsicle will not be disappointed, because all of the characters they loved in the first book are back and feistier than ever.

My favorite scenes involved Floe at driver's ed training. Teenagers will definitely relate to the aggravation and stress of getting a license.

Though Floe continues to stumble through these and other embarrassments, she keeps picking herself back up and trying again. Combine those elements with a witty narrative and you've got yourself a pretty cool book.

Read my interview with author Bev Katz Rosenbaum.

Check out my Popsicle playlist.