Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reading Roundup: December 2013

By the Numbers
Teen: 15
Tween: 1
Children: 6

Review Copies: 2
Purchased: 1
Library: 18

Teen: Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker
I admit, there were some parts in the hyper-conservative worldview of the town and the church that made me go, "Whoa . . . okay." However, this was a compelling look at the moment when your faith is tested by direct contradiction of the things you've always known, and whether it's possible to come through with that faith intact.
Tween: No standout this month.
Children: Animal Fights by Catherine Ham
Poems about fighting animals? You wouldn't think it would work. It does, which can be attributed equally to the poems, which are accessible and fact-based, and the great photography.

Because I Want To Awards
Move Over Veronica Mars: Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
Okay, not really, because VMars doesn't move over for anybody and will tase you if you try. But this story of a snarky, clever teen sleuth got me and I'm quite sad that there's only one sequel. Yeah, the plot's a little uncertain, but I was taking the ride with Hartley.
Veronica Mars in 1942: The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines
Why did I enjoy this one? See above. Less snark, more history, definitely more character growth as Iris learns painful lessons about the world, her father, her mother, and herself. And there's a sequel to this one too. Yay!
Wow, That Was Something!: Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet
I've seen these balloons all my life and never stopped to think of all the engineering and creativity that went into them. This book brought that to life, and what makes it even more stunning is that the first idea and execution came from one man.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Reading Roundup: November 2013

By the Numbers
Teen: 15
Tween: 7
Children: 2

Review Copies: 12
Library: 10

Teen: Burnout by Adrienne Maria Vrettos
When Nan falls off the wagon, she wakes up hungover in the subway. I loved how she tracked backward, not only through the night she forgot, but exploring the destructive friendship that brought her there.
Tween: 13 Gifts by Wendy Mass
Shuttled off to the weirdest town on the planet after kidnapping her principal's goat (no, really), Tara finds herself propelled off the sidelines and in the middle of the most random scavenger hunt ever. While this required a lot of suspension of disbelief, it left me smiling.

Children: Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African-Americans by Kadir Nelson
We all know about the Civil War, civil rights, etc, but there's a lot more to African-American history than that. Starting with the European settlement of North America, Nelson shines a light on a history too often hidden in the shadows.

Because I Want To Awards
Swoooooooooooon: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry
Okay, granted, I wanted to smack both main characters more than once. But like the others in this series, this book really evokes that heady rush of the first time you're in Capital L Love, and the complications of living up to those feelings.
A Fine Finish: United We Spy by Ally Carter
Like Harry Potter 7, this took place mostly outside of the school that's so important to the series as a whole. But everything worked for me.