I'm having a little trouble finding the next middle school book to review. (It's times like this I wished I signed up to review picture books; at the very least I could read through a stack of them a lot quicker.) Yesterday, I read The Westing Game, a 1979 Newbery winner. It was o.k., but hardly worthy of a Newbery. I'm sure it was awarded this prestigious medal based on its concept more than its execution. I certainly don't see too many middle-school students lining up for this one.
So while I hunt around for a new book, let me talk about stats. No matter how much I say I'm not going to look, one of the things I do every day is track the stats of my blog: how many people are reading each day, how many over the course of the month and how many for all time; what are the referring sites and what are the search keywords that lead them to the fruitcake files; which posts are visited most often (A Christmas Movie is the most visited of all-time, RIP Michael Sarrazin is the most visited this past month, The Mod Squad is the most frequented tv post, and Countdown the most frequented book post, followed by Harris and Me, The Outsiders, The Tough Winter, and Moon Over Manifest); and, finally, from which countries do my readers hail. This morning when I checked my blog's stats I found that someone from Trinidad and Tobago was reading. How cool is that? I've had readers from all over the world; my top three countries are all English-speaking countries: the U.S., of course, the U.K., and Canada. But I've also had visitors from Singapore, Germany, Brazil, Croatia, Israel, India, Pakistan, Australia, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Spain, Japan, China, Thailand, and, yesterday, Russia. No readers from Africa or Antarctica yet, but the rest of the world is pretty well represented. One thing my blog stats don't tell me is how many of my readers are repeat readers and how many are one-time readers. I certainly hope most of them visit from time to time.
To my new followers, I welcome you, and to those of you who are reading my blog regularly (whether or not you've signed on as a follower), I thank you, and from all of you I welcome any suggestions on which books you think would lure middle school students away from their video games.