Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The 9th, 10th, and 11th Books of the Year

I finished reading my 9th book of 2005 before the end of January. Okay, I will admit that 3 of those 9 books were early readers. Nonetheless, I'm on track to equal last year's total of 60-something.

Book Number 9 was The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. This book is a sequel to Turner's Newbery Honor book, The Thief, which was just plain excellent. Attolia was a decent read, mainly because I was won over by the main character, Eugenides, when he appeared in Thief. I respect that Turner was trying to do something different from her earlier book by writing in the third person, moving around in point of view, and having her characters mature. I enjoyed the book, I just didn't think it was as well done as The Thief . I certainly look forward to reading anything new from the same author, though.

The Queen of Attolia is so overdue at the library. I know where I'm going tomorrow.

Book Number 10 was Tripping Over the Lunch Lady, an anthology edited by Nancy E. Mercado. This is a book of short stories relating to school. If memory serves me, they are all written in the first person. Many of them sound very similar even though they're written by different authors. Rachel Vail, an author I hadn't heard of before, has a sweet story in this collection. But the real standout is "How I Got My English A" by Avi It has a marvelous voice and is truly funny. I've never been a giant Avi fan. I very much liked his book Who Was That Masked Man, Anyway?, read something else that I thought was only so-so, and never tried anything else. This short story is definitely good enough to get me to pick up some more of his books.

I finished Book Number 11 last night. I truly disliked it. Truly. Not to mince words. The style was pretentious, the bad guys were of the Snidely Whiplash variety, the victims were poor, simple folk, characters changed for no logical reason...need I go on? I'm not going to name names because I disliked this book so much that I can't give an evenhanded assessment. On top of everything else, today I opened one of last year's The Horn Books (because, as usual, I'm a couple issues behind)and what do I see but a page length advertisement for this book. Complete with a quote from a starred review.

Oh, if only I were in charge of the kidlit world! Things would be so different!

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