Sunday, December 1, 2013

RI Mock Newbery Reads - December 2013

I will be adding to the list as I make my way through the nominees ... favorites closest to the top.

Far Far AwayFar Far Away by Tom McNeal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am not entirely sold on the singing, but other than that, what a great way to do Grimm.


LocomotiveLocomotive by Brian Floca
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I initially read this book as a potential Mock Caldecott readaloud and crossed it off the list immediately for being too long; I generally try to read two or three titles per 30-minute class. But then it showed up on the RI Mock Newbery list, so I decided to give it another try. And I'm so glad I did.

Through his artwork, Floca manages to make you feel like you're on a train while feeding you bits of incredibly interesting information. Running a steam engine without wrecking the train and/or killing anyone was really hard work!

View all my reviews The Real BoyThe Real Boy by Anne Ursu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What does it take to be a person? Do our memories define us? What if society's memories are altered by historians? Would you rely on magic v. yourself if it were available to you? Heady themes for a kid to ponder.

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated AdventuresFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At first I loved it, but as I made my way to the end, I shed a little bit of that love each time DiCamillo piled on each additional quirk. I did maintain my positive feelings, however, towards drama queen William Spiver and the excellent squirrel poet Ulysses.

Listening for LuccaListening for Lucca by Suzanne LaFleur
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Huh? What the heck was that horrible ending? I felt like I was reading the script for one of the recent, incredibly lame Doctor Who episodes. SPOILER ALERT:

"I will just will myself into your body in the past! I will talk to your brother - after miraculously snapping him out of his PTSD - like a self-help author! I will LITERALLY FIND THE KEY to unlocking Lucca's muteness! I will get confirmation from the elderly neighbor that I have changed the past!"

What started out as a standard realistic family problem book with a supernatural twist turned into something ludicrous. So disappointing. It seems like the majority of books I'm reading lately start strong and then taper off to blah. Where are all of the editors?

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