Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Sunday Salon

I've been a lurker in The Sunday Salon world for quite a while and finally decided to participate. I love reading about what other people have been reading and what they plan to read, and I also love talking about what I've read.

For now, I think the Sunday Salon will be just that for me. A sort of a round-up of what I've read during the week, books I'm reading to my daughter, books that I'd like to read, and maybe even books I've received in the mail. To stay in the true spirit of The Sunday Salon, I'll be talking about one of my favorite things in the world: BOOKS!

This week, I read three middle grade fiction novels:
All three of these books were very good in their own ways, so it's hard to pick a favorite of the three.

I loved The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian for its raw emotion, its humor, and its thought-provoking issues. I think it's a great choice for both boys and girls alike, but I think that boys especially will relate to Jr.'s struggles to fit in.

I liked The Underneath for its superb writing, its unique premise, and the seamless interweaving of characters, plots, and points of view. This book is a favored contender for this year's Newbery Medal, and I can see why. I do think, however, that some kids may be turned off knowing that the main characters in the book are animals.

Finally, I finished Gary Schmidt's Trouble late last night. I was hesitant to read this book because I tried to read The Wednesday Wars and just couldn't get into it. I didn't like the writing style of the book and didn't finish it even though TONS of people have loved the book. However, I've seen rave reviews of Trouble and decided to give it a chance. I'm so glad I did. Trouble is a book filled with intense emotion, racial tension, forgiveness, quest for self, and more. I think that a lot of readers, boys and girls alike will love this book. My only beef with the writing was that all of the book's "loose ends" seemed to be tied up nice and neatly by the end of the book in a way that almost seemed unrealistic. I don't want to go into details for the people who haven't read the book, but I guess I would have liked a little more originality.

Now for my ever-growing stack of books to read.

  • I was so impressed with Elizabeth Scott's writing after reading Living Dead Girl (my review) that I requested some of her other books from the library. I don't have my library account number with me right now, and I can't remember which ones I requested, but they'll be first on my list to read when they arrive.
  • This School Library Journal post has me anxiously awaiting the publication of George Schaller's Life in the Wild: George Schaller's Struggle to Save the Last Great Beasts.
  • In The New York Times' Sunday Book Review, Germaine Greer reviewed THE ENEMY WITHIN: 2,000 Years of Witch-Hunting in the Western World by John Demos, and it sounds like a fascinating read.
  • I heard about THE UNNAMEABLES by Ellen Booream via this review from The Goddess of YA Literature, and I'm eager to read this author's debut novel
  • At A Patchwork of Books, Amanda convinced me to add The Last Wild Place by Rosa Jordan to my list
I also have a number of books in my "To-Read" stack at GoodReads. Today, I'm planning on visiting the library with my daughter and pick out some board books for her and pick up the other books from Elizabeth Scott. YAY BOOKS!

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