Thursday, January 18, 2018

My Horn Book TBR List

I caught up on my Horn Book reading on retreat week, though I appear to have lost one issue.  At any rate, here are the books I read about that I’m particularly interested in:

July/August 2017

The Special Ones by Em Bailey. When my kids were young, I read a lot of edgy, interesting childlit  and YA novels from Australia. This sounds as if it could be another. It also sounds as if it could have a bit of a Never Let Me Go thing going on. YA

Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce. I like the alien-human save the world premise here, though I do think it’s one I’ve seen before. Additionally, I liked one of Boyce’s earlier books. Not crazy about the grandfather situation described here, which I think has become a cliche in children’s lit. Middle grade

The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby. I loved one of Juby’s adult books. This is described as a comedy with things to say. YA

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwann. Follow-up to This Savage Song, which I read last year and liked. YA

And Then There Were Four by Nancy Werlin. I’ve read some of Werlin’s thrillers. This is described as a “psychological page-turner" and involves high school kids being killed off by an interesting group. I want to read more YA thrillers this year, anyway. It’s an objective for one of my goals.

A lot of the books that interested me from this issue were by authors I already know. Let’s see what happens with the next issues.

September/ October 2017

Jasmine Toguchi Mocha Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence This book has shown up on the CCLC a couple of times and is written by a NESCBWI colleague. I’m interested because it’s a book for younger readers that’s about something different. And at the same time, it’s not. You have the eight-year-old child who feels a need to compete with family members, which is the not different part, but she lives within a culture I’m not familiar with, which is different. Shallow me. That’s why I’m interested in diverse books. I want to read something different. Younger readers.

The Night Garden by Polly Horvath. This is described as a madcap comedy set during WWII, so it has both humor and history for me. Also, I’ve never read anything by Horvath, who has been around for a while. Middle grade

When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kushner. Another YA thriller for my YA thriller reading objective.

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart YA thriller. See above.

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins. First, I will be upfront and say I am acquainted with the author, to the point that we’ve actually met in the carbon-based world a few times. Additionally, this sounds as if it might be a multi-generation book, something I was fond of as an adolescent. Also, there’s a character who sounds as if she becomes a Bollywood star, something I don’t see every day in my childlit/YA reading. YA

November/December 2017

I have no idea what became of this issue. It sure didn't make it to my retreat site.

January/February, 2018

Nothing by Annie Barrows. The premise for this book is fantastic. Two teenagers realize that they’d make poor YA novel characters because they don’t live the eventful lives they see in books. So one of them decides to write a book about them. YA written by the author of the Ivy + Bean books for younger readers, which I’ve liked.
Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani. A graphic novel featuring a trip to India. Middle grade

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. A mystery with a setting in my home state. I liked Johnson’s Suite Scarlett. YA

The Inevitable Victorian Thing by E K Johnston. Alternative history, which I don’t think I’ve seen much of for young readers. Brings the Victorian era into the present. YA

Escape From Syria by Samya Kullab with illustrations by Jackie Roche and color by Mike Freiheit. A graphic novel about a family dealing with what’s happening in Syria. Material I haven’t seen before and wish I knew more about. Middle grade

The Big Lie by Julie Mathew. More alternative history, this time dealing with the Nazis conquering Britain in 1940. I think this may be a common setting in adult alternative history (the Farthing books by Jo Walton, for instance), but I haven’t see it before for kids. YA

Who Killed Darius Drake? by Rodman Philbrick. A mystery with a tough kid (maybe bully?) providing protection for a social outcast who is being threatened. Middle grade

The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange. A historical novel set post-WWI, one of my favorite periods. Though I seem to have a lot of those. Middle grade

I haven’t listed any nonfiction, but there is fascinating looking stuff featured in all these issues. A wealth of interesting subjects.


Jen Robinson said...

I've been in something of a YA thriller phase. I liked And Then There Were Four. Genuine Fraud I thought was pretty good but not as good as We Were Liars. I also liked Here Lies Daniel Tate.

Gail Gauthier said...

Well, that all sounds promising. So much to read, so little time, as they say.