What Would They Read?: Parks and Recreation
Those of you familiar with the lives of the employees of the Pawnee Parks Department know how they feel about the Pawnee Public Library. The presence of Ron Swanson’s crazy ex wife, Tammy, doesn’t help to mend the fences between these two village departments. However, I would like to believe that this rivalry between the parks Department and the library would in no way hinder Leslie Knope and staff in their love of reading. I mean, obviously they would probably have to get their books through Amazon or a bookstore so as not to encounter Tammy. Let’s see what books the Parks Department would read!
Leslie Knope – Leslie is a very powerful woman who strives at excellence in everything she does. When I think about Leslie, I immediately think of Frankie Landau-Banks. In 2009 Printz Honor book The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, Frankie orchestrates a mission to infiltrate The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an all-male secret society on her school campus, of which her boyfriend is a member. Of course, being a member is not enough for Frankie’s ambition. Instead, she starts to design school pranks and directs the Bassets in carrying them out. Frankie is definitely a teen Leslie would be proud of if she were a citizen of Pawnee. Another title that I would set aside for Leslie is Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer. Bauer’s story includes a mayoral race in a small town. When Hope moves to the small Wisconsin town from a fairly big city, she does not expect to get caught up in the situations of her new home. However, when the owner of the diner she works at decides to run for mayor against a corrupt politician, Hope jumps into local politics with both feet. Bauer’s book combines two of Leslie’s loves: politics and diners.
Ben Wyatt – While Leslie is more serious and set on addressing the issues of Pawnee, Ben is a bit more on the whimsical side of things. When he was eighteen-years-old and mayor of a small town in Minnesota, he tried to create Ice Town, which failed miserably. He also loves board games and video games. I would give Ben the recently published book, Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff. This story follows the two gamers, Lesh and Svetlana, who meet both in real life and in an MMO game world. Also, the book takes place in Ben’s home state of Minnesota. While I don’t know if Ben would want to read this next book for fun, I do feel like he can relate to the main character and commiserate over their similarities. Janet Tashjian’s second book in her Larry trilogy called Vote for Larry, follows the story of a teen boy who has such a following that he eventually runs for president. Things aren’t exactly what he expected them to be.
April Ludgate – April brings sarcasm to an entirely new level. Everything she says is snarky and leaves people unsure of what she truly meant to say. If the main character of Struck by Lightning by Chris Colfer and April were to have a conversation, bystanders would be amazed as the sarcasm storm created by the two. Therefore, I would definitely have to give her Colfer’s book. April shows compassion to only two things. The first is her lovable, clueless husband Andy. Other than Andy, April cares about animals. Animals, particularly dogs, were the first things to ever get April to show effort in her role at the Parks Department. Because of that interest, I would give her Straydog by Kathe Koja. In Koja’s novel, a moody teen who doesn’t fit into the cliques at her school begins to volunteer at a local animal shelter. April shows her softer side in her relationship with her rescued dog, Champion, and the other dogs in need of homes in Pawnee. See April, we knew you didn’t hate everything.
Andy Dwyer – Andy is clueless about a lot of things except for his wife April, his band Mouserat, and his desire to be in law enforcement. In response to his love of music and his goofy personality, I would recommend Dogbreath Victorious by Chad Henry. I’m sure Andy would get excited just by the name of the band, being as it is similar to his band, Mouserat. In Dogbreath Victorious, Tim’s band Dogbreath is ready to win Seattle’s Battle of the Bands. He did not expect to be beaten by anyone, especially not The Angry Housewives, a band started by his own mother. Andy loves to put on the persona of Bert Macklin, FBI agent. Occasionally he will act as Bert opposite a femme fatale role portrayed by April. Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell is the story of a serial killer named Kit who has perfected the art of murder through anonymous letters directing her to her next victim. This definitely sounds like a case for Bert Macklin, FBI!
Stay tuned for the next installment of What Would They Read?: Parks and Recreation. What book would Ron Swanson cuddle up with after a long day of widdling? Can I find a book that is cool enough for Tom’s rep?
Currently Reading: The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp