Wednesday, November 23, 2011

RI Mock Newbery 2012 - December Reads

(I will be adding to this post as I make it through the list ... favorites at the top)

Hound Dog TrueHound Dog True by Linda Urban

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wowee. I loved it. Love love loved it. The way Linda Urban is able to make us feel Mattie's painful shyness and understand the way she thinks. The touches like Mama's piccolo fingers or Quincy "plunking" her words. That last line. So good.

A Monster CallsA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book reminded me of a Neil Gaiman offering, which is a good thing. It kept me wondering and kept me turning page after page. And made me think. "Stories are wild creatures" indeed ... and there really isn't always a good guy or a bad one. I also loved the notion that "You write your life with actions." This book was written beautifully with words, and the art was perfect for the atmosphere.

Camo GirlCamo Girl by Kekla Magoon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although I felt like the voice was rather older than 12, it was also very true. Ella's confusion in different situations, her discomfort and wish that she knew what to say or do, was palpable. The ending suffered from the "dramatic event and sew-it-up-quick ending" ailment that many books do, but I still really liked it overall.

Between Shades of GrayBetween Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

When I got to the end, I realized that for all the WWII testimony I have read, I don't think that I ever heard witness from any deportees to Siberia.

The narrative pulls you right along from the hot, crowded train cars to the frigid steppe. I kept glancing at the thermostat and giving thanks for four walls and a furnace.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1)The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

At first I was confused. Then charmed. Then appreciative of all the lovely verbs (creatures don't "say" anything; they "haroom" or "crow" or "admonish" or "shriek"). Then impatient. Then around p. 120, too bored to finish. Yes, Ms. Valente has an imagination. But I just didn't really enjoy what it came up with. Sometimes allegories make me fall asleep. The second star is for the verbs.

Bird in a BoxBird in a Box by Andrea Davis Pinkney

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Meh. The three main characters' voices weren't distinct. They had no real growth or development. I feel like we missed something re: Willie's hands. I didn't buy the reverend finally opening up.

I expected a LOT more from a book with jacket blurbs from Linda Sue Park, Grace Lin, and Gary Schmidt.

View all my reviews

1 comment:

MM said...

A couple of people were kind of dismissive of Hound Dog True as being "cute," but I'm hoping more people read it for the voting meeting. I found some passages to be absolutely searing.

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