This is the second edition of the new "reviews that make me want to read the book" feature here at Jen Robinson's Book Page. The idea (as introduced here) is to highlight a few recent reviews that have inspired me to want to read the book in question. This will give a bit of much-deserved attention to the authors of these enticing reviews, and will also help me to keep track of these reviews as they pass by my computer. I hope that you find some book ideas here, too.
First up is Chris Monroe's Monkey with a Tool Belt (Carolrhoda Books), reviewed by Betsy Bird at A Fuse #8 Production. I actually loved the cover photo, but was also taken by this text from Betsy (who loved the book): "There is nothing quite so comforting as a competent hero. Monroe has created a story that is as kid-friendly as it is partly because you never really worry too badly for Chico. Even when he's in dire straits you're comforted by the very presence of his tool belt." [Updated to add My Review: March 1, 2008]
Next up is Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay (Roc Trade), reviewed by Emmaco at There's Always Time for a Book. Emmaco says that it "stars 15-year old Ned, who has traveled to Provence with his famous photographer father... Ned's worries are soon superceded by new concerns as the past becomes tangled with the present, placing his family and friends into danger. Kay does a great job at gently introducing the many different historical events that have occurred in the region." As regular readers know, I'm a sucker for time travel books, and I like the sound of the way the time travel is mixed in for this one.
I've seen Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson (Scholastic) around, and thought that the title was appealing. But Esme Raji Codell convinced me to read it with: "This book has laugh-out-loud slapstick, zany characters, and a meticulous plotting that keeps imagination from becoming mayhem; in fact, I have yet to meet a child (or a librarian) who didn't like this book, probably because it sizzles with magic, and gives readers hope that whatever fault you may have can be turned to an advantage."
Cynthia Leitich Smith made me want to read Brothers, Boyfriends & Other Criminal Minds by April Lurie (Delacorte). The post isn't a full review, but rather an announcement about a giveaway to receive a signed copy of the book. However, Cynthia's plot summary, about two teenage girls who inadvertently find themselves involved with the mob, caught my attention. Perhaps because we've just started watching Season 6 of the Sopranos at my house.
And that's it for today. Though I do wonder if I would be better off reading some of the books that I have, instead of writing about other books that I want to read. But anyway, hope this is of interest.