Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Reading My Library Status

Renton LibraryI've continued working my way around the beautiful Renton river library, ignoring the prospect of the library's move, which is supposed to happen sometime in the future. There is a group organized to save the library, but all their literature is about how beautiful the library is, which no one disagrees with, and doesn't address the structural or environmental issues that made the city decide not to upgrade the current site. So who knows?

Meanwhile I'll keep going and peeking at the fish through the windows.

I've rounded the M's in children's literature, and continue through the second half of the alphabet. I'm trying to average about a book a week, but not promising anything to myself. It's fun how sometimes there's a dozen books I'd like to read and sometimes I'm choosing among the least of evils. And I get a fuzzy warm feeling of double accomplishment when I find a book on my to-read list or that fits one of my other challenges -- set in a hard to find American state or even better, a South American country.

Recent reads were:

Image of itemA Friendship For Today, Patricia McKissack. School integration from a black girl's point of view, in contrast to the The Lions of Little Rock (another RML book). An author's note says that McKissack used some of her own memories to guide the story, which is cool. In standard kid-lit expectations, the girl whose parents are openly against integration is the one who becomes our protagonist's friend.

Image of itemMilagros: Girl From Away, Meg Medina. Nifty magic realism in a kidlit, with imagery reminiscent of Like Water For Chocolate. It was hard for me to read about the violent events, as well as the young girl consumed by selfishness and meanness.

Image of itemWar Horse, Michael Morpugo. If this is a true story, great. If not, then the author killed off a girl in a sentimental trick, which is annoying, especially in a Black Beauty knock-off. I haven't seen the movie, but at least now I have the option (I hate seeing movies if I haven't read the book).

Image of itemBringing the Boy Home, N.A. Nelson. Cunningly constructed tale of two boys from an imaginary Amazonian tribe, both old enough to face their manhood ceremonies, but one boy has been adopted by an American. Tribal beliefs and religion are treated as true, but the adoptive mother isn't as ready to let her twelve year old son risk his life on a dangerous quest (I can emphasize with that). Good read. And set in Brazil -- bonus!

Image of itemWays to Live Forever, Sally Nichols.  My kids are too close in age to the protagonist for me to enjoy this book about a young boy's hospice months as he dies in leukemia. Tears kept leaking out as Sam's live shrunk around him even as he worked his way through his juvenile bucket list. I doubt my kids would go for this, but I'll try it on them. (No joy.)


Storied Cities said...

I did see the theatre production of the War Horse and thought it was amazing.

Ms. Yingling said...

It took me about 15 years to read all the books in my school library, so keep at it. It is an interesting way to get a cross section of literature! As for comments, I try to be as insightful as possible, but then I like to write a LOT. (My blog's tag for many years was "one librarian's attempt to read all of YA literature and shoot her mouth off about it"!)

Charlotte said...

If I am ever in a play or a movie and need to cry, I'll just whip out Ways to Live Forever. WHAH!

Bibliovore said...

Oh, man, I sobbed when I read WTLF. You'd think I'd know to avoid dying-kid books, but then they get good reviews and I go, "Well, I guess . . ."

Interesting about your kids. I wouldn't touch dying-kid books when I was that age either, and I didn't read reviews to tempt me otherwise. (Although there's the insane success of The Fault in Our Stars, too . . .)

mary kinser said...

Great stuff here! I will definitely add these to my TBR list (which is already too long, but whatever). :)