Welcome to the latest edition of my reviews that made me want to read the book feature. I've stored up quite a few promising titles over the last few weeks:
Bill from Literate Lives recently reviewed From Alice to Zen and Everyone in Between, by Elizabeth Atkinson. He had me at: "Alice Bunt is a tom boy who moves from the city life of Boston, to the suburbs and a big fancy mansion of a house built on a cul de sac that use to have trees and other natural things, called Hemlock Trail. She has a cat named Yaz after her favorite Red Sox player, and a dog named Einstein, supposedly the smartest pug puppy ever."
And Bill had a good couple of weeks, because he also caught my attention with his review of Itch: A Novel, saying "this is a fabulous book! Even though it deals with such a serious topic, author Michelle D. Kwasney manages to mix in some humor through the grandparent characters." He also called it a favorite of the year, and inspired me to want to check it out.
It's actually pretty rare for a picture book review to catch my attention enough to make me covet it. But when Franki from A Year of Reading says: "WHAT A BOOK! If you are looking for a great, new Christmas story that will last generations, this one is just that. A great gift book for any child (or adult) you know", well, that catches my eye. So I'm looking forward to Drummer Boy by Loren Long.
It takes a real knack for someone to make me want to read a book even before they tell me anything about it. But Sarah Miller pulled it off in her review of Kathy Koja's Headlong. She said: "You know, sometimes I don't want to actually review a book. Sometimes I just want to snap the bugger shut and say, very satisfied, "Golly, that was good!"" I feel like that sometimes, and I trust Sarah's judgement, so I didn't even read the rest of the review (but you can find it here).
Another very brief recommendation from Sarah also caught my eye: That Book Woman, by Heather Henson (another picture book review!). "If you are a book lover (and we both know you are) just open up your emotional fuse box and let this darling have its way with you. It is spare and sweet and perfect, and that is all you need to know."
The Book Muncher just reviewed an intriguing upcoming title called Jo-Jo and the Fiendish Lot, by Andrew Auseon. Here are the bits that drew me in: "I am pleased to say that my high expectations for this novel were exceeded. I immensely enjoyed Auseon’s unique version of death and the afterlife because it was so creative and entirely unlike any other book I’ve read on the same topic... Readers who liked Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin will also enjoy this fabulous novel; I actually liked Jo-Jo’s story better than Elsewhere which is saying something because I loved Elsewhere."
Laini Taylor is deeply immersed in Cybils fantasy and science fiction reading. She recently highlighted a book that she was disappointed never to have heard of before, commenting on the arbitrariness of buzz. The book is The Gypsy Crown by Kate Forsyth. Laini called it: "My favorite kind of story: fast-paced, makes the page disappear as you fall right into the flow of events, and all the while, painlessly (not just." I also borrowed this cover image (which she took) from Laini's review.
Over at Welcome to my Tweendom, Stacy Dillon reviewed first two The Sisters 8 books, by Lauren Baratz-Logsted: Annie's Adventures and Durinda's Dangers. They're about a set of octuplet sisters who have special powers, and solve mysteries. Stacy says: "Part Snickett, part Dahl with a little dash of Gorey, author Lauren Baratz-Logsted along with Greg Logsted and Jackie Logsted have created a series that is perfect for the younger tween set."
Over at Charlotte's Library, Charlotte discussed a new series that she says fills the gap between easy readers and Harry Potter books, "Humpty Dumpty, Hardboiled Detective, by the team of Nate Evans, Paul Hindman, and Vince Evens (Sourcebooks Jaberwocky, 2008). Think Guy Noir (from Garrison Keillor's radio show) as a hardboiled egg detective, in a warped fairy tale New Yolk city, with copious black and white drawings featuring lots of action." The first two books are The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop and The Mystery of Merlin and the Gruesome Ghost.
BooksForKidsBlog reviewed Daniel Kirk's Library Mouse. And honestly, a picture book called Library Mouse? What is not to love? GTC says "Lucky Sam is a library mouse, with a home in a hole in the wall behind the Children's Reference section of the library. Naturally, Sam is quite well read". Sam becomes and author, and encourages kids to become authors, too. I think I'd pair it with Bats in the Library (which I will review as soon as I get the chance).
I've seen The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett around, but I was never interested to read it until I saw Dewey's review at The Hidden Side of a Leaf. She says: "As you may know, I give away all the books I read unless they belong to someone else... But I have to keep The Uncommon Reader. I know I’ll want to read it again, and fairly soon. Keeping a book is really the highest praise I give; I have moved books from one house to another too many times to want more than my TBR books and my husband’s and son’s books in the house. I think every one of you would love this story, and I recommend it to you all."
And that is quite enough wish list books for today. Many thanks to all of the reviewers who help to keep me in excellent books.
© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.