Tuesday, January 16, 2018

RI Mock Newbery Reads - Voting Meeting Edition

We're down to the wire! As I type this, I have 25 hours to finish the final two books I haven't completed yet. But I aim to have them added before voting begins!

UPDATE with 2 hours left: FINISHED! Although I kind of wish I hadn't bothered with the last one, because it's definitely not getting my vote.

RefugeeRefugee by Alan Gratz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. Just ... wow. So intense I had to take a break after each installment of the three main characters' lives. Journalistic writing leaves you breathless and stressed out. This is getting my Mock Newbery vote.

p. 51: "Mahmoud jumped when it fell, but Waleed stood still, like this kind of thing happened every day. With a jolt of surprise, Mahmoud realized this kid of thing DID happen every day. Just not to them. Until now.

Her Right FootHer Right Foot by Dave Eggers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Delightful. I want Eggers to write more nonfiction for kids.

The Someday BirdsThe Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sweet, funny, charming, and left a tear in my eye. My one quibble is the (view spoiler) ... a little too neat. But I liked just about everything else, including p. 118 shoutout to HONEYCRISP apples, information about the Sarajevo seige, and the constant visual cues. Can see handing to my kids who liked "Absolutely Almost" and "Death By Toilet Paper."

 See You in the CosmosSee You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved the way the book was set up and loved Alex. Didn't love the last 100 or so pages, which stretched my suspension of disbelief - Steve and Zed were way too good to be true. But all in all, entertaining and sweet. Will recommend to Mock Newbery committee.

p. 167 "Even after the sun was gone the clouds above were still bright red, and the horizon was gold and the water was purple and they should have sent a poet."

p. 202 "Oh you mean they're like the ancestor of all the mammals which looked something like a shrew but it's still a really important step in our evolution, so maybe VHS was like the shrew of watching shows in your house."

The War I Finally Won (The War That Saved My Life, #2)The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pretty satisfying sequel.

p. 29: "The only way out of this is straight through."

p. 56: "Dead pilots. Dead Mam. Dead colonel. Dead Stephen's family. I counted them off on my fingers. Ten people. They took up every finger I had."

p. 93: "I needed a doll a long time ago. It's too late for me to have one now."

p. 136: "You always have to choose what you believe."

p. 212: "What's right and what's permitted are sometimes different things."

p. 385: "You can know things all you like, and someday you might believe them."

The Stars Beneath Our FeetThe Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm glad that my life has not been touched by gang violence.

Patina (Track, #2)Patina by Jason Reynolds
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This didn't stick with me like other books I've read recently; in fact, I read the first 50 pages, came back to it a few days later, and had to start over because I couldn't remember a thing. Now what's sticking with me is them having to eat turkey wings every night. Ew. Can't Momly learn how to make grilled cheese or pasta? That might have been more upsetting than Ma's legs being gone. Although I did like how Maddy imagined them off doing exciting things.

Beyond the Bright SeaBeyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book made me learn some new geography. And it was very nicely written. But settings without bus stops or CVS make me nervous. And this was so slow to get started. Would have liked more about the day-to-day on Penikese Island.

Clayton Byrd Goes UndergroundClayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ms. Byrd needs to takd 17 chill pills. How does she not see that denying Clayton more time with his dad makes no sense when she is so full of rage at HER dad not having been around? UGH.

Starts slow and ends with something that needs more explanation, but I did like that so much action happened on the subway. The timing seemed off, though ... I thought it was midmorning when it was actually afternoon.

CycloneCyclone by Doreen Cronin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

How did I manage to read two books in a row where young people had strokes? Now I'm terrified there's a blood clot in my brain.

Orphan IslandOrphan Island by Laurel Snyder
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

One of those books whose ratings in my head steadily decrease until the end. As a reader, I think I deserve certain answers. Unless this is setting up a series, or at least a sequel/prequel, then I am quite put out.

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