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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

2019 Heavy Medal Award – Second Ballot Results

HMACThis are the results of our second round of voting.

A few more books are OFF the table:

Front Desk, Just Like Jackie, The Night Diary, Poet X (This one kills me!), and Small Spaces. 

So, we are left with the following titles to further examine:

[The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge] First x 3 Second x 1 Third x 2 19
[The Book of Boy] First x 3 Second x 2 Third x 3 24
[The Faithful Spy] Second x 1 3
[Hey, Kiddo] First x 2 Third x 2 12
[A House That Once Was] Third x 1 2
[The Journey of Little Charlie] Second x 1 Third x 2 7
[Louisiana’s Way Home] First x 4 Second x 2 Third x 2 26
[The Season of Styx Malone] Second x 1 Third x 1 5
[Snow Lane] First x 1 Second x 7 Third x 1 27
[Sweep] First x 4 Second x 2 Third x 3 28
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Roxanne Hsu Feldman About Roxanne Hsu Feldman

Roxanne Hsu Feldman is the Middle School (4th to 8th grade) Librarian at the Dalton School in New York City. She served on the 2002 and 2013 Newbery Committees. Roxanne was also a member of 2008-2009 Notable Books for Children, 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults, and the 2017 Odyssey Award Committees. In 2016 Roxanne was one of the three judges for the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards. You can reach her at at roxannefeldman@gmail.com.

Comments

  1. First Proposal: Are we ok with dropping the following from our discussion:
    Faithful Spy
    A House that Once Was
    Journey of Little Charlie
    Season of Styx Malone

    since none of them received any First Place votes and removing them would allow us to tighten the field and would finally be able to choose a winner?

    If anyone wants to keep any of the titles on the table, please reply to this comment.

    • Leonard Kim says:

      This was an issue last year: have you discussed your Honors process? Newbery rules are that if a book is taken off the table, it is not eligible for Honors, and that may be the reason for hangers-on votes for books with no Medal prospects.

      • Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

        Another thing the Manual says about Honor books is: “These shall be books that are also truly distinguished.” That “also,” at least in my understanding, puts Honor books right up on the level with the Medal book, or at least as close as they can be without getting the Medal. If, at this point, books are trailing the leaders by a significant margin, I feel it’s fair to say that they are well short of that “also truly distinguished” level. The reason to keep them on the table at this point would be if at least one committee member has content to add to the discussion that could potentially make a big difference in how others view a particular book. But lacking that big shift, I would say those books should be already thought of as out of contention for Honors.

      • I asked this in an email and was told not to think about the Honors when I was voting! So that’s kind of a bummer if we are going to do it that way.

      • Leonard Kim says:

        Steven, I argued this last year. I think the Newbery process is fantastic for picking a Medal book but is flawed for Honors. On the 1st ballot, POET X had only 2 fewer votes than the front runner and had the 5th most points. Now it’s gone and thus has no chance at Honors. I am pretty sure this had nothing to do with how Committee members felt about the book and everything to do with how much those individuals were willing to give up their heart’s vote to help get to a Medal winner, which clearly isn’t the actual 1st choice of some of the people who eventually rank it 1st. So it also seems likely that the final ballot *order* is not indicative of the Committee’s true preferences. Actually I am realizing as I’m typing this that it might make much more sense, after the Medal book is chosen, to base the Honor book selection on the *1st* ballot, the one that reflects what people really wanted. Because Honor balloting doesn’t require a single winner, doesn’t care about 1st place votes, and is purely point-based, it doesn’t require multiple rounds of people setting aside their preferences to get to a single winner. So the first ballot is arguably less “distorted” than the last ballot for Honors purposes. But obviously dem’s not the rules.

      • Kari — we don’t have to toss any title out. But, if the book you’re hoping for does not have at a lot of the support from others, it would probably not make it to the honor level, either. Did we already get rid of the book you’re hoping for? Or is it one of the ones not receiving the most votes?

      • Leonard,

        I don’t know, I don’t feel too bad about this. We all had to drop favorites for titles that consensus seemed to form around. In the case of THE POET X, it only had 4 people cast a vote for it on the first ballot and none of them were first place votes. That’s telling to me. I believe people were testing the age appropriateness of it and bailed on it when there didn’t appear to be support on the first ballot. I would even argue, that the people most passionate about it, given the “controversy” around the age debate, would vote for it on that first ballot. Meaning getting more than 4 people to support it over the other titles was looking to be a stretch.

        I get what you’re saying, but would also argue that there’s something to be said about the consensus that tends to build with the later ballots.

    • As much as it hurts my heart to say goodbye to my very favorite (Charlie), I vote for tightening the field a little bit.

      Also, I’m off to the airport for Midwinter, so I might not be weighing in as much. 🙁

    • Deborah Ford says:

      I’m ok with tightening the herd.

    • I think cutting them is a good idea.

    • Courtney Hague says:

      Seems like a good idea to go ahead and tighten things up a bit.

    • samuel leopold says:

      For this balloting procedure it makes sense to drop them—-but I still believe that STYX is going to take home at least an honor on Monday.

    • It’s off the table as of this round. I would probably have kept the book on my ballot if I thought we would be getting rid of it entirely but you are right that it probably wasn’t going to get more support than it already had.

  2. Snow Lane shot up in standing by a LOT — please discuss its merits as against other titles that have also received many votes.

    • While I agree Snow Lane has distinguished elements, for me it doesn’t rise in this list. it is one of my more recent reads but its content has mostly faded. Well crafted but lacking in pull. I would never chose to read it again.

      • And conversely, I was excited to be done with the discussions on all the other books so that I could re-read Snow Lane. It is so well crafted– One of our shorter books–197 pages. I never found myself thinking that the editor could have done something to shorten it, like I did with Sweep and Brangwain Spurge.

      • Well, I have to disagree with the lacking in pull. It’s not one I want to read again (although I’m rereading some right now) because it’s so upsetting. But that’s pretty much the opposite of lacking impact! I’ll certainly never forget that scene of the abuse.

      • What I’m wondering about the abuse scene is how well younger readers can decode what is happening. I remember a vagueness to keep the violence at a distance. Does it take more mature eyes to catch all the undercurrent. There may well be readers who could never fathom a parent assaulting their own child. (let’s hope there are many), would they ‘catch’ what is happening? I have students who are often confused by element of books that I take for granted because they were built on foundations unfamiliar to their world.

      • DaNae, that is something I’ve wondered about too. What age kids would you all give Snow Lane to? There is definitely an element of looking back to it. The voice is very inside the story, but there are a lot of things we are clearly supposed to understand that she doesn’t. A very small example, I just reread on page 15 when she’s talking about what an Irish twin is. She has several wrong theories and the humor relies on us knowing the truth. So it’s sometimes adult oriented in that way. But I think many of those things many kids will get and presumably the rest will just experience it along with Annie, so I don’t know if it matters or not. In terms of the abuse specifically, I think the vagueness of that scene is a strength because each kid can bring their own level of knowledge to it and so you can kind of chose your own level of trauma. But I hadn’t thought about it being so vague that some kids might not understand what is happening at all. I mean, the aftermath is clearer, so it seems like they should be able to put something together? And you have the abuse from the siblings all along, so violence is at least in the air, it’s not totally out of the blue.

      • I just got to the abuse scene again and it does say straight out “when my mother hits me” and then several sentences about the emotional pain and not understanding why she does it. “I can’t understand why she would want to hurt me, and that hurts more than the hitting.” (P.119) So it’s not actually vague, so I don’t think any kids will miss what’s happening.

      • DaNae C Leu says:

        Thanks, Katrina. I remembered a careful portrayal, but not how subtle it was relayed.

    • Part of the desire to re-read, for me is to see how the author constructed everything.
      The book packs such an intense emotional wallop, that I wanted to go back and take a good look at the writing and the plotting with a clearer mind. They do not disappoint. The author has done great work in this one!

    • samuel leopold says:

      Snow Lane is definitely worth a final six discussion…..but does not quite reach the distinguished level of quality as Sweep, Hey Kiddo and Louisiana.

      • In my estimation, Snow Lane is more distinguished than Sweep. And I feel I’ve yammered on about that enough already.

  3. What are your view on Hey, Kiddo? It seems that there are not enough support for this title — who would like to further champion for it?

    • samuel leopold says:

      HEY KIDDO can stand against any book left on our list as far as its’ distinguished qualities. It is the most relevant of all the books left on our list and the one that develops the main characters better than all that are left.

      • Sam – what is “relevant” to you? How is this more relevant than other titles? This is not meant as a challenge — just if you could cite specifics, that will be wonderful.

    • samuel leopold says:

      Though this is a graphic novel, it is the writing that is most outstanding and what makes this story most memorable. Definitely deserving of a top three recognition.

      • However distinguished Hey Kiddo is (and granted, I think it’s fantastic) it has received fewer than half points asSweep, Snow Lane, Louisiana and Book of Boy by our committee. I don’t know how more support can be garnered for it.

    • samuel leopold says:

      Thank you Roxanne for asking. I wanted to cite a few phrases I have marked in my copy…but I left it on my desk at school—-uggh!!

      But I can still briefly explain….that what makes HEY KIDDO so relevant is two-fold.
      First, the situation described in this story is, unfortunately, all too real to so many kids–and adults—today. I have seen the effects of addiction on parents and their families so often that it no longer “surprises me” when I see it happen. What does surprise me though is a novel like Hey Kiddo that describes this type of situation in such a way that independent readers along different spots of the Newbery age-appropriate level can read and relate to this story. Most books that deal with this theme are not very accessible to students under the age of 15. The other titles on our list all have relevant aspects…but their themes have been seen often in other young adult titles throughout the years—-maybe with the exception of SWEEP. The story of HEY KIDDO is unique in how it is realistic and still reaches out to many readers younger than 15.
      Secondly, the author of HEY KIDDO takes a situation that shows the characters doomed for nothing but pain and heartache….and amazingly paints a masterpiece of HOPE.
      Hope that is real and not cheesy or far-fetched. It takes a skillful writer to pull this off and the author of HEY KIDDO does so very well.
      For these two reasons, I see HEY KIDDO relevant and worthy of at least an honor.

  4. Any other specific literary discussions about any of the remaining titles, please reply to this comment. Thanks! We’re getting close!!!!

    • Louisiana, Sweep and Book of Boy are the books I have reread the most. All are examples of well-crafted books for children. The sentence level efforts are juicy and quote worthy, But where I see differences are in complexity, character delineation and emotional pull. I care so much about Louisiana’s fate, but I’m never really worried about it. I love the world DiCamillo creates but it sounds like a world she created, the charaters all speak the language of DiCamillo. For what its worth, I would happily move to the county of DiCamillo, she writes the world I want. Where as the voices in Sweep are distinct to each character.

      Each time I read Sweep, I uncovered more sly insertions of plot. The complexity of the story-line felt Rowlingish. A long game was being played by the Sweep, which isn’t at first apparent
      until the scene in the graveyard. The complexity of Book of Boy was also high but I had a hard time following all the elements. This may be more my failing, but it may be an issue for some young readers as well.

      I hate being so one note, but I do find Sweep exceptional and resonate and yesterday did not give it a fair look.
      .

      • I agree the character voices are particularly distinct in Sweep. Although I think they still are in the other two also. For example, Louisiana and the various Burkes are certainly very different from each other.

      • I’m in the middle of rereading Sweep and the middle doesn’t feel as slow this time because I know the outline of the plot. The first time I kept expecting her to become a student at the school or some other major change to happen sooner. It’s kind of three different stories in a way—the part where she’s a climber, the part in the house with Charlie, and then the newsies part at the end. There is actually quite a bit that happens in the middle section, but it’s so much quieter than the beginning and the ending that it confused me the first time. In some ways, I think it would work better if that part was its own book, so you knew that it was a gentle, quiet book a la frog and toad, rather than expecting the more active Dickensian beginning to continue.

      • Ok, I still felt like it dragged a bit during the part between Newt going to the Friendly Society and him dying. I think he wanted to have all the seasons, but we didn’t need as much spring as we got. I like many of the things within it, but it could have been condensed some.

      • One person’s draggy spots may be another’s welcome breathing space. I loved the time in the house. As someone who will revisit the chapter in AZKABAN where Harry gets to hang out unchaperoned in Diagon Ally for weeks on end, I don’t mind a little down time. (I think I secretly feel like the kid with too much oversight and love stories about kids eking-out on their own – Boxcar Children forever!)

  5. I’m just a spectator, but even thought it’s being cut, I feel like I just have to get these thoughts in about LITTLE CHARLIE. I tried to reply to the thread from earlier today not realizing that the comments had already been closed!

    I don’t think that Charlie saving Syl’s parents was a last-minute decision at all or that he ever had any intention of returning them to slavery after the events in Canada. My impression was that he only returned to Detroit–at great personal risk–for the sole purpose of rescuing them. On page 203 when he walks into the sheriff’s office: “I guess it could be said I helped Syl get free of the cap’n, but there was more I had to do.”

    Then in the next chapter, as soon as the sheriff is out of sight, Charlie changes course and starts looking for the river. These are his thoughts as he does so (page 222): “Even though I knowed letting ’em go was the right thing to do, I kept having doubts. I always been tolt they ain’t the same as us, they don’t feel things like white people do, they don’t love their kids the same, they don’t love nothing but ducking work and sleeping. I always been tolt they ain’t even got souls. The big lie in that showed itself when I seent how Syl had falled so hard for that pretty girl. The only critter I’d ever seent that look on afore was a human being. And I ain’t done much studying on the Bible, but I believe it do say somewhere in there that all human beings has souls. Keegan and the Dee-troit sheriff and all them other folk wasn’t ’bout to stop me.”

    We don’t see Charlie feeling guilty about taking them back and starting to change his mind; we see the thought process behind something he is already fiercely committed to do and has been planning since Canada. There may still be discussion to be had about whether Charlie undergoes a true transformation or merely has his naïveté blown apart, but either way, it seems clear to me that his decision to free Syl’s parents is not a haphazard, last-minute change of heart. It is a carefully planned rescue mission.

    • Now, see, I thought that’s what it should have been, but wasn’t how it read to me. I thought for sure he was heading there just to set them free, but then he has them put the heavy shackles on and seems like he’s set to actually take them back. And then seems to change his mind again to set them free. Whichever way the author meant it, it certainly could have been clearer!

      • Deborah Ford says:

        I agree Katrina.

      • I know it’s cut — but it remains one of my favorite titles of the year. And I’m not sure that the author did not make it clear, either. I think I might not have been as careful in reading it and not considering that’s how Little Charlie’s way of thinking/narrating — all along the entire book — that things are not necessarily spelled out so clearly: and that is his way.

      • Well, I was very confused when I read the ending, so he at least didn’t make it clear to me. 🙂 I couldn’t tell which way he meant it.

  6. Jessica Lee says:

    I find it fascinating that so many people placed SNOW LANE in 2nd place. I’m curious how that will play out as the field narrows. I strongly agree with trimming the titles with the lower votes, even if it means removing them from the running for Honors.

    When I participate in live, in-person Mock Newbery discussions, we are encouraged to move toward consensus. In the first round, you vote with your heart. In the third round, you vote for the title that looks like a winner that you can strongest support. It is easy to be a purist and hold up your favorite as the one true book, but if everyone did that no decision will be reached. So take a look at those top vote-getters and see if maybe you can comfortably shift your support to one of those.

    • Looking at which books had the most committee members choosing it for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place In Total number of votes:
      Sweep-9
      Snow Lane- 9
      Book of Boy-8
      Louisiana-8
      Brangwain Spurge-6
      Hey Kiddo-4

      What if we cull the lowest two of these?
      I’ve never participated in a Mock Newbery before, so I don’t have any idea how groups reach consensus… This is tough!

      • I don’t think we should cull any that received FIRST votes — or any that had received votes in this round. But people need to be mindful of which of their top three choices should be (esp their FIRST votes.) Thanks, Susan, for doing the counting. (I did that for the first ballot) but not here.

      • I’m going to make an observation: HEY, KIDDO had 5 people vote for it on the first ballot which garnered it an impressive 18 points but on this second ballot, it lost a vote (now just 4 people) and dropped to 11 overall points. While I can see why its supporters would have wanted to continue with an “all-in” approach after the first ballot, it would appear that consensus began forming elsewhere with the second ballot. And as Jessica reminds us above, the goal here is consensus.

        Personally, I believe HEY, KIDDO has a few things working against it in a Newbery conversation: 1) its age appropriateness and 2) it’s a graphic novel. It was also discussed at length during its original post (52 comments ranked as one of the higher participated threads) so one would assume most of its strengths have already been considered.

        I guess what I’m saying, is it would appear that this title is next on the chopping block, so it’s remaining supporters better bring something new to the table or maybe look to help build consensus around a different title.

        Is that fair to say?

    • Leonard Kim says:

      It’s actually kind of amazing that POET X lost all of its support. It’s also amazing that the people who moved their votes mostly did not move them to one of the three frontrunners: LOUISIANA, BOY, or BRANGWAIN, all of which basically hold steady from ballot 1, but instead vaulted both SNOW LANE and SWEEP past all three of them in terms of votes and points. So if anything, this second ballot has less consensus than the first, and y’all might be in for a long night.

      • The Poet X is still very dear to my heart. But I think the age discussion made it clear that it was a bridge too far for a lot of people.

  7. samuel leopold says:

    All the books left on our list are amazing!!!! And I have re-read all the comments over the last few weeks concerning them. All of you have provided excellent analysis!

    And…also having re-read them over the last couple of weeks…..I can confidently say that

    I strongly believe that SWEEP is the most distinguished book on this list.

    The other books all have distinguished qualities. But SWEEP is at or near the top in each criteria category of the Newbery medal when compared to the other titles. I think Louisiana and Hey Kiddo would fill the second and third spots on the “Newbery Podium.”

  8. Can we just have a five-way tie? 🙂 I like ’em all!

  9. I still think Book of Boy is the most consistently excellent—pacing, plotting, writing, characters, historical detail.

    • Agree! Consistently excellent. Never a moment where I thought “Now why did the author do THAT?” It just flows so beautifully.

      • samuel leopold says:

        Susan and Katrina……I guess I have made it no secret concerning my feelings for HEY KIDDO and SWEEP. But, there has to be three books on that ballot and I keep going back and forth between Louisiana and Book Of Boy. Your comments concerning BOY are almost persuading me to place that on my third ballot. Can either of you tell me what you think of the Book of Boy as compared to Dicamillo’s story? Thank you.

      • Will do so in a few hours after I get off desk and home with the book!

      • I like them both very much. I think one area where Boy has the edge is plotting. One is pacing—Boy is action-packed and really well structured. Whereas the first time I read Louisiana, I kept expecting her to get in touch with Raymie/Beverly and then after granny disappeared, I kept expecting her to come back or Louisiana to go after her. Since it starts as a road trip, I wasn’t expecting the story to stay in the town, so I didn’t settle in properly. So it wasn’t until I reread it, knowing the arc, that I was able to settle in and really enjoy the story I was actually being given. But I did love it that time. So that could all just be a me thing, but I think there is reason as a reader to expect granny to reappear and there be a more active resolution to the curse.

        The other plotting strength specific to Boy is the mystery. It’s really intricately crafted. It’s such a surprise that Boy is an angel, but there are clues all along and she’s really good at layering in both clues and misdirection. It’s completely surprising and completely inevitable. And she plays completely fair with it—every time you think there was evidence that Boy was human (eating, going to the bathroom), you realize it was cleverly phrased to mislead you but also be totally accurate.

        And of course, Boy wins for historical detail. I think both are really good on a prose level and have very strong characters and character development. I did really notice and appreciate all of the fairy tale allusions the second time reading Louisiana.

      • I truly think both Louisiana and Boy are quite distinguished.
        However, Book of Boy rises to the top for me because the author does such amazing magical things with this journey.
        Secundus starts out so gruff and bossy and Boy so accommodating and selling himself short:
        From page 4
        –“Hmph. A hunchback. You can walk at least.” He snapped his fingers at the pack he had been carrying, the pack on the end of the pole. ” Bring that for me. And careful: ‘it’s worth more than you are.”
        I hurried for the pack, unsure whether to hold it in my arms- was it truly worth more than me?–

        From page 256 when Secundus has all the relics and opens the gate to the tomb:
        –“He smiled. Goodbye, angel. I love you.”
        ” I love you too, milord. For always.”–

        This book is about love.
        Secundus makes this ridiculously long hard journey (from Hell!) to reach his loved ones in Heaven. The journey of Boy to self- acceptance (love for self) to and make his way home– to talk to Sir Jacques with his mind (as he did with the animals) and help him find his way to Heaven and his (dead) wife… Boy finds his power to help his master. Beautiful.
        Watching the love that develops between Secundus and Boy feels noteworthily special–for men treating each other lovingly is so powerful and rare in our culture. Men and boys are seldomly portrayed as nurturers, and the author does it so seamlessly. From all the animals that clamor to sleep atop Boy (the comic relief in this book was fantastic) to his positive attitude and sweet nature– Boy was the character I found myself most rooting for and most and wanting to be like. That’s just part of why this book makes me want to stand up and cheer for it.

      • samuel leopold says:

        Thank you, Susan.

        You and Katrina have convinced me. Book Of Boy will make my ballot when I vote tomorrow. I appreciate you and Katrina taking the time to address my request. Thank you!

    • samuel leopold says:

      Thank you Katrina for the contrast of the two books. Your comments are very helpful.

  10. The HMAC members will continue thinking and re-reading the books and vote again tomorrow. Stay tuned.

    • samuel leopold says:

      Can you tell us about what time the voting for round three will open? I have 50 sixth graders on a field trip until 12:30 tomorrow and will not be able to be online until after 12:30. Thank you.

  11. Cherylynn5691 says:

    I want to speak up one more time for the strength of Brangwain Spurge. All of the books chosen are realistic settings either present day or in the past. Brangwain Spurge was completely made up by the authors and yet I can vividly picture where everything took place. Some of the book was visual but some of the book was text descriptions.

    • I actually got confused occasionally by some of the descriptions, but that was probably because I was listening to it. But I definitely agree it’s a very creative and fully realized world. I like the prose a lot too, especially the humor.

  12. Ok, I’m trying this posting again on a different device. I want to add my voice to the support for Hey Kiddo. I thought that the characters were very well developed and that the plot was engaging. While I do see that it is on the higher end of the Newbery age range, I know a number of 11 year olds that read it and loved it. For so many kids this is their story and for so many others this is a glimpse into a world that is becoming more common but yet continues to be a taboo topic. I think that the text here is as strong as Last Stop on Market St and that it is time for a Newbery Win for a graphic novel.

  13. It’s interesting that both Louisiana and Sweep are about hungry girls whose guardians make arrangements for the child (The Sweep is better at it) and then go off to die.

    • And in Snow Lane hungry Annie’s mom/sister says she won’t be coming home anymore… I’ll add this to my informal spread sheet of themes! Lots of group therapy, dead moms, and twins!

    • Mary Zdrojewski says:

      This also seemed to be the Year of Alzheimer’s. (Only one on our short list, but at least three on the long list.)

  14. I finished rereading Sweep and I half take back my complaint about the characters talking too much about themes. You’re quite right, DaNae, it only has the “we are saved by saving others” twice. I do still think in both those cases that he was already better showing that through the dialogue right before it in a slightly subtler way. So it didn’t really need the slogan either time. But that’s not a huge thing. There were a few other similar times on other themes. For example, Miss Bloom preparing for the protest and she says straight out “When I first met you, you were a child in need of care. And now you are caring for others.” Which isn’t too bad, but is still kind of heavy on the theme and a little weird for the character to say. I think there were a couple more of those, but not nearly as many as I’d remembered. I think because it was feeling a little slow in the middle, than just made it *feel* like a lot because I was like, stop sitting around talking and go do something! But I think more was happening than it seemed like to me the first time around.

  15. samuel leopold says:

    Just turned in my ballot……Wish there was a way I could squeeze five titles into three slots…….

  16. I’m going to share one last observation, regarding the construction of SWEEP, and how it respects younger readers. Something Mary Ann said over on the Sweep post reminded me. Auxier did a lovely job tempering the harshness with scenes of quiet tenderness. I was reminded of this as I book talked it to a couple of classes yesterday (I had to explain to my sixth-graders why, when they walked in at 2:00, there was so much squealing going on in the library just as I read the results of the second ballot) I hadn’t really thought through my presentation and spent a lot of time depicting the life and conditions of climbing boys. Their faces were so appalled, I realized I needed to find a softer opening. Auxier did this by opening on the girl and her Sweep, before he shoved Nan up a chimney. The book continues to insert flash-backs – holding essential plot elements – but giving respite from the grimness. He doesn’t shy away from the realities, but does offer breathing space. I’ve had my husband listen to the audio, and he made the comment that it is a fairly twisty book – going back and forth between dread and joy.

  17. samuel leopold says:

    Great observation DaNae!

    One last post for the day……
    Just had this conversation with a student that shows maybe I need an “analysis” break…..

    STUDENT: ” You look upset Mr.Leopold.what’s wrong?”
    ME: “I feel like I have betrayed Styx Malone and Louisiana and I need to apologize to them for leaving them off my ballot.”
    STUDENT: “You realize they are not real people?”

    Have a great literary day everyone!!!