HelloooO! Battle of the Books contenders have arrived! These are the ones. I haven’t read ANY of them. What on Earth does that say about me?
ANNA AND THE SWALLOW MAN by Gavriel Savit
FREEDOM IN CONGO SQUARE by Carole Boston Weatherford and R. Gregory Christie
FREEDOM OVER ME by Ashley Bryan
GHOST by Jason Reynolds – want to read!
THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON by Kelly Barnhill
THE LIE TREE by Frances Hardinge – have checked out ONE MILLION TIMES
MAKOONS by Louise Erdrich
MARCH BOOK THREE by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell – read book 1
THE PASSION OF DOLSSA by Julie Berry – have checked out HALF A MILLION TIMES
SAMURAI RISING by Pamela Turner and Gareth Hinds
SOME WRITER! by Melissa Sweet
THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon
THUNDERBOY JR. by Sherman Alexie and Yuyi Morales
WHEN GREEN BECOMES TOMATOES by Julie Fogliano and Julie Morstad
WHEN THE SEA TURNED TO SILVER by Grace Lin – read book 1
WET CEMENT by Bob Raczka
For the last few years, I can’t remember how many, NPR has done this virtual concierge of their best book suggestions for the year. I like it, but I’m a list person so some part of me misses the basic list. See for yourself and you can how you feel. Please note, there are way more in this concierge thing than on a regular best of 2016 list because of the algorithm they have to choose different topics. 309 books!
I looked at them all. Because, why not? I have read, 11 of them. To completion! I have tried to read, or almost finished as I like to call it in Goodreads, 13 of them. That’s 8% – rounding up. Haha. Let’s include one more layer. There are 24 of them I have checked out and brought to my house but never opened, or only read the first few pages. That puts me up to 15% so I feel a bit better. Anything above 10% and I’m golden. Who can really compete with NPR?
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier is sure to be another hit with the middle grade crowd. I enjoyed it, all her reads are very quick (Smile, Drama & Sisters). I can’t say I loved this one as much as the others. The others are very relate-able. Problems with braces, bullies & family dynamics. This one has ghosts. Not as a plot device but real ghosts. Now I don’t know, maybe you believe in ghosts, but it seems that the problems in this book are solved by ghosts and that’s not going to happen in real life. Unfortunately. I also don’t think anyone will be flying around any time soon. But there are some family dynamics and friendship issues happening so I think it will still be enjoyed by those who love Raina’s books.
I picked up this book because it was written by the same lady who does the Babymouse series and those are super popular at my library. Sunny is sent on “vacation” to visit her Grandpa in Florida. She’s stuck at a retirement home type community and doesn’t know what her parents sent her there for the summer. Luckily she finds another kid named Buzz who is obsessed with comic books. However, she’d still rather be at home. Eventually she finds out why she was sent down south away from her family. Did she do something wrong? A great graphic novel for those who liked Smile or Drama by Raina Telgemeier.
Someone else had a lovely review of Nimona. She’s on the PW list for best YA novels of 2015 so perhaps I just have bad taste in books. I reviewed it as a so-so.
This was a seriously personal graphic novel. Craig has doubts about his faith that I imagine resonate with lots of people who grew up in the church and have very religious parents (like myself). I love his drawings and I’m so glad he didn’t listen to the people around him who told him his art could not glorify God. Whether he draws for God or not doesn’t really matter, he’s an amazing artist. I loved how all of the chapters started out with him and his brother sharing a bed as children. What a great relationship, even if bad things happened to them in their younger years they had each other. I like that he seemed to rectify that relationship in his later teens and later when he came back for his graduation / wedding. In contrast, I didn’t like how the “relationship” with Raina had no serious closure. Sure, he called and told her he didn’t want to talk to her anymore but then nothing. No mention of how she never tried to call after that or contact him. It seemed a very abrupt ending to a relationship that was the main basis of the first 300 pages. I’m not one for open ended conclusions unless it’s specifically that way to set up for a sequel, and in this case there is not (as far as I know anyway). However, I enjoyed it a lot and I could see a lot of my questioning personality in Craig.
I’ve been listening to a new podcast, Book Riot: All the Books. In episode 1 they talk about this book, Nimona. I can’t precisely remember what they said about it because I’ve binge listened to 5 more episodes since then but they must’ve liked it because I put it on hold and read it just now. I can’t say I loved it. Nimona is weird. There is no lead up to the story she just pops up and wants to be the main character’s sidekick. Then, turns out she’s evil! And I think Blackheart and Goldenloin are in love? I don’t know. Try it out. I never feel bad about reading graphic novels because they’re so quick and short.