It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.
I had a busy reading week last week!
Last Week’s Books:
Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi just didn’t do it for me. It’s the story of 12-year-old Pete Collison who lives in Brooklyn in the 50s. His dad is a college professor who gets accused of being a communist, and Sam-Spade-Loving Pete decides to try to investigate to find out who his dad’s accuser is and unlock some secrets from his dad’s past. I guess what bothered me most was the FBI agent who keeps harassing and following Pete and the fact that Pete sometimes shares these encounters with his parents and sometimes not. Believability was stretched past its limit, in my opinion.
Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata is a story about international adoption. Eleven-year-old Jaden was adopted four years ago after many years of being a neglected child in Romania. It is heart-wrenching to know that Jaden’s past abuse and abandonment have prevented him from fuly loving and accepting his adoptive parents. Jaden thinks about the many therapists he has worked with sfter behavior problems such as hoarding food and setting fires. Now, his parents and he are traveling to Kazakhstan to add a new baby to the family, and many, many unexpected things happen. Jaden starts to bond with a toddler, Dimash, even though he is not the child his parents expected to adopt, and that makes Jaden think that he might be able to love his parents, too. I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. Although the ending was touching, as Jaden’s parents decide to adopt Dimash and a baby, it seems unlikely that all will be easy and that Jaden will be magically “fixed,” as some readers might imagine.
In The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani, the main character is Sonia Nadhamuni, a half Indian and half Jewish American girl. When her father loses his job, Sonia must leave her tiny, progressive private school and attend a public one for the first time. She is immediately welcomed by a very popular girl who encourages Sonia to try out for cheerleading; however, her friends are not so welcoming. It takes a while for Sonia to decide that while being in the in-crowd is tempting, being true to yourself and befriending those who will always stand up for you is better. The twist to this familiar story is Sonia’s dad’s depression and short-term disappearance. This is another book that I liked, but didn’t love. Good for middle school, but not a must-purchase.
I listened to Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby, which turned out to be a fortunate decision–as it contains many stories within a story. In Viking times, Solveig and her older sister and younger brother have been whisked away to safety while their father, the king, and his armies battle a powerful enemy. At first guarded by a few trusted men, the party is soon joined by a band of berzerkers sent for extra protection. While Solveig is enjoying working with the skald (storyteller) Alric to learn his craft, traitors are working to poison those protecting the royal family. The many stories that Alric and Solveig tell, not only inspire those around them but also give insight into Norse culture and legends. Aagin, especially great to listen to.
I am reading Fables by Bill Willingham with my best friend for the Panels Challenge. Somewhere along the way I got behind so I will reread from the beginning and finish the now-complete series by the end of the year. Wonderful stuff for fairy tale fans. Adult fairy tale fans, as I would rate it an R if it were a movie.
On Deck – My neglected random reads: