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I am trying to read the 20 titles on the newly-released Texas Bluebonnet
list for students in grades 3-6 as my Christmas reading.  I have read 16
- those which remain are the longest, of course.  And I love reading the
picture books - can knock off almost half the list in a couple of hours!
At any rate, so far I've enjoyed all the books and think the list is
good.  One of the books won't be available for awhile - one of my jobbers
told me March.  That annoys me!

For my personal reading I read *Under the Beetle's Cellar* by Mary Willis
Walker, who won the Edgar last year for *The Red Scream.*  *Beetle's
Cellar* is a terrific read.  It's about an Austin (TX) school bus driver
and 11 students who are kidnapped by a Koresh-like cult and held captive
beneath ground at the cult's compound.  It's well-written, insightful,
touching, scary.  By the way, the bookseller told me lots of middle
school teachers bought it because the liked the idea of a bunch of middle
school-aged kids held underground!!!  I don't think you'd wish this
story on even the worst kid, but I recommend the book.

Diane Durbin

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