I finished several novels this week. Thank the ear infections for my time spent on the couch. At least they have been good for something!
Garment of Shadows, by Laurie R. King
Yet another Russell and Holmes mystery. Such a tightly-plotted work, and an interesting time period and locale (Morocco, around the time of WWI – just after). I just keep alternating these in with my other books and then dropping whatever else I’m reading to finish the latest one I’ve checked out.
Rain Reign, by Ann M. Martin
At the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards held this month, this book won the Schneider Family Book Award for Middle Grade.
“The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.” Such a luminous, lovely book. I started crying on page 153. I didn’t stop until I turned the very last page (so many pages later). Beautiful. Everyone should read this book.
Astronaut Academy: Re-Entry, by Dave Roman
I should have read the first Astronaut Academy book first, clearly. Then I’d understand the dynamics of the characters and the schools better. Still, I enjoyed the stories in this middle grade graphic novel. Older students would enjoy the subtleties, too.
A Light in the Wilderness, by Jane Kirkpatrick
This is historical fiction like I hope to write it. The characters, based on real people, are vivid and well-drawn. It was interesting to follow this story onto the Oregon Trail since it’s a part of history I’m familiar with. The main characters settled areas I lived in, too, so that made it even more compelling. Mostly, though, the writing, setting and characterizations made this an outstanding piece of writing that took me completely into period and place.
Sneaker Century, by Amber J. Keyser
Wow, nonfiction for young people at its finest, from a librarian’s point of view: it’s got great graphics, the text is interesting and doesn’t talk down, but at the same time, it’s written in language to grab even reluctant readers. It has all the features I look for in nonfiction – where to find out more, a very interesting book list, and great notes and index. I learned stuff I never would have dreamed about the humble footwear I grew up calling tennis shoes (in eastern Oregon) and sneakers (in Vermont).
Left Turn at Paradise, by Thomas Shawver
What bookish person wouldn’t love a mystery series about a rare book dealer? The puzzle was engaging, with interesting twists, and the premise of the guy and his business was fun. I’ll be looking for more of the books in this series for sure.
11 Birthdays, by Wendy Mass
I keep thinking I’ve read Wendy Mass but I don’t think I have until now. This was fun and odd and touching. I enjoyed it with my ears. I have A Mango-Shaped Space, also by Mass, on my must-read list, recommended by students.