You’ve probably heard of it. It’s getting stars in journals and a lot of love online. In fact, Heavy Medal wondered if it’d be eligible for the Newbery. It’s also got a moving, fascinating back story. It’s hinted at by the sentence on the cover (Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd), but the full story is here. [Read more...]
It’s an adage. And a cliche. And the Achilles heel of Strings Attached.
In the interest of full disclosure, I recognized the impressive qualities of What I Saw and How I Lied but never felt the love so many felt. So while I was looking forward to this one, it was on my pile for reasons of this blog rather than because I was dying to read it. I don’t think this affected my reading, but I am in a sharing mood right now. So there you go.
So there are some things that we probably all know about Victor Frankenstein. Let’s make a list:
- Mad scientist.
- Ruthless determination.
- “IT’S ALIVE!”
- Questionable judgment. [Read more...]
(This is take 5.)
I’ve read a lot of books I really enjoyed thus far this year. And I’ve read a lot of really excellent books. Sometimes they’re even the same book.
But Chime was the first 2011 book that made me say wow, and a year later, it’s still making me say it. When I finished this (last October, having snagged a copy at a preview), I actually called up Sarah (who, I remind you, was still in the midst of her Printz term) and said, “I totally just read the 2012 Printz winner!” Sarah didn’t care, but I just kept babbling: I was giddy with the experience of reading Chime.
I don’t think I’m alone in my Chime love (6 starred reviews, NBA shortlist, and lots of generally great reviews). You can be sure the committee will be looking at this one (or, really, probably has looked, given the early pub date), and I would guess they’ll look pretty closely given the stars and the NBA nod.
Will it hold up?
We have one graphic novel on our current list of contendas. (Well, we wanted to consider Craig Thompson’s Habibi, too, but that was published for adults, which means it’s ineligible. Le sigh.) In any case, Anya’s Ghost is getting a lot of critical love (four starred reviews as of 9/1) and even has a blurb from Neil Gaiman!
The plot: Anya goes to a second-rate prep school and wants nothing more than to fit in. Well, if she could also snag adorable Sean as a boyfriend, she’d be great. And if she could lose a couple of pounds, that’d be fab. And if she could change her unpronounecable last name, life would be perfect. You know, she wouldn’t mind if people would stop associating her with Dima, another Russian immigrant at the school. And maybe if she had more friends than just Siobhan….but really, Anya’s a simple girl with simple wishes. Really. Until she falls down a well (long story, but you guys, it’s perfectly understandable!) and ends up with a new best friend: Emily, the ghost of a girl who mysteriously ended up down that well 90 years ago. We all know friendship’s difficult, but it’s even more complicated when your new best friend is dead. [Read more...]
We thought we’d have a conversation about Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma. It’s been getting enthusiastic reviews (four of them starred), including a spoiler-free write up from the esteemed Liz B. And then we had a quick chat about it over the phone and we realized….we suspect that we totally agree, which may or may not make for an interesting blog post. Let’s see what we’ve got!
The plot: It’s about sisters Chloe and Ruby, who live in a small town in upstate New York. When Chloe finds the dead body of classmate London Hayes in the reservoir, she leaves her small town and her magnetic, larger-than-life sister to live with her absentee father. She returns to her town, and to Ruby, two years later to find things largely unchanged. Her mother is still the town drunk. Ruby is still Ruby, capricious and bold. But other things are very different—and only Chloe seems to notice. [Read more...]