Sunday, January 3, 2010
This is my first post for the Shelf Discovery Challenge, after actually reading that book. I'm trying to read one book per section, and for the first chapter, "Still Checked Out: YA Heroines We'll Never Return" I only had one choice, Ludell by Brenda Wilkinson. Well, I may reread Starring Sally J Freedman As Herself because my only memory is reading it, so I'm not sure it counts.
Ludell is the only non-white heroine in the chapter, and her accent was hard for me at first, keeping me distant. The pace of the book also seemed jerky or syncopated -- jumps in time, then concentrated pages. But as I eased into Ludell's life, I started to really enjoy her story and the depiction of her life. I even liked the occasional jumps into the heads of the adults around her, which gave an added dimension to the book. All the other books in this chapter feature comfortably middle-class kids (like I was), so Ludell's life in segregated Georgia seemed even more remote. Yet like all kids she could rely on the parents around her to keep her safe, even if that parent was her grandmother. She had friends to rely on or who let her down. She had goals and dreams, sometimes even realistic ones. I think I'll try to hunt up the sequels, and I like the final chapters with their emphasis on her blossoming writing skills. B+