PEELED by Joan Bauer

Peeled by Joan Bauer is a book any aspiring journalist should read … or for that matter any current journalist. It’s a bit ironic that I chose to read this book the same week all the Texas textbook flap broke out. Depending on which news source you pay attention to, you’d think either the liberals or the conservatives were taking over Texas and ruining the country. I’m still not sure what the truth is, but I do know there was some bad reporting going on.

This novel has a campy overtone with a more serious core, and it’s full of apple jokes because growing apples is how the town of Banesville survives. That’s not enough for some people, so the city slickers move in and fabricate a story about a ghost, propelling Banesville to national attention but leading the apple growers to ruin. Throw in a grumpy former newsman turned school newspaper advisor, a cute love interest, and a diner owner with ties to Poland, and you have both meat and sweets in this story.

I found Peeled both funny and fast paced, an enjoyable read which could lead students to discuss responsibility and truth.