Who doesn’t love this time of year? Leaves are changing, apples are tasty, and my knitting needles and yarn are just begging to be picked up again. These orange lovelies are leg warmers in process for Laura Chapman and the blue in the back is for a hat.
Here are a few books I’ve been reading lately:
by Ellen Potter
I loved this one. It has the same kind of feel as A Series of Unfortunate Events or Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, but with its own set of creative elements. The story is about three siblings who are weird, to say the least. The story is told by one of them, but you never know exactly which one it is. There is adventure and intrigue with a smattering of sweetness thrown in for good measure. I’d love it if this won the Newbery, but I just don’t think it will. I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think this one is it.
by: Gary Paulsen
I finished this one just the other day and really enjoyed it. It is set during the Revolutionary War, and the main character is a young boy who spends most of his time hunting the woods. He is hunting when his farm is attacked by Hessians and his parents taken captive by the British. The rest of the story is about Samuel making the journey to New York to rescue his parents. Each chapter begins with a small narrative from the author about a historical aspect of the war. This is helpful in understanding what is going on in the story and incorporating history into the fiction. Paulsen wrote in the afterword that it was not his intention to write the history of the revolutionary war; rather, he wanted to write about aspects of the war that are typically glossed over (p. 162). I appreciate this approach, even though there are a lot of topics in the book that are difficult to digest. Thankfully, Paulsen writes about the rough stuff but still ends the story on a positive note.
They Called Themselves the K. K. K.
by: Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Yeah…this is one I have to read for the Mock Newbery I’m attending. Sigh. I haven’t finished it yet, but so far it is very informative and very difficult to read. This was one of the book reads for my book club as well and one woman brought up the interesting point that there seem to be quite a few men in history who like to put on dresses. Someone needs to write a book about that!
One Crazy Summer
by: Rita Williams-Garcia
I am currently in the middle of this one, and I think this is it. I just have a gut feeling, and I know I could be wrong, but I think that so far, it has all the elements that make a Newbery a Newbery. I can’t say very much about it because I’m still reading it, but I’ll tell you what I know so far: Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are three sisters in the 1960’s who are sent from New York (where they live with their Pa and his mom, Big Ma) to Oakland to spend thirty days with their mom, Cecile, who abandoned them when Fern was a baby. Cecile is a horrible, horrible mom and it’s difficult to read about her treatment of the girls. It’s told entirely from Delphine’s perspective and I love her. You will too if you read it.
So, it’s Halloween weekend and I’m pretty excited. Annika is coming to visit and I think we’re going to carve pumpkins, get costumes and pass out candy to little kids. I’m thinking of making a little paper ghost banner to hang from the window and I’m hoping to pick up some fake cobwebs for outside. Ah, the joys of scaring little kids…not really, I’m not THAT mean.
Till next time…