Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's version at Teach Mentor Texts.

Last week, I finished up What Came from the Stars by Gary D. Schmidt.  For my money, Schmidt is one of the most under-recognized writers working today.  Not just in books for the under-18 set, but overall.  His writing is a character in itself, and I found myself repeatedly experiencing the irrational desire to stop reading for a moment to hug the book.  This one could be a poster child for science fiction books also being serious reads with a lot to offer.  I read an Advance Readers Copy provided by Houghton Mifflin.

Next I read Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage, which has to be the cutest book about murder I've ever read.  The narrator's voice (11-year-old Mo LoBeau) makes this a charming, engaging read.  While there is some violence, it's treated in a way that wouldn't make me hesitate to offer this to a middle grade girl, all of whom should find something to admire in Mo.  I read an Advance Readers Copy provided by Penguin.

Last up was The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann.  It was not quite what I thought it was going in, but still turned out to be a whimsical steampunk reimagining of Victorian England, but with fairies.  It was fairly standard, if well-written, until the final chapter, which introduced some surprising dark twists.  I also liked the adult-child crime-fighting pair in a genre that's glutted with "the kids are all on their own."   read an Advance Readers Copy provided by HarperCollins.

This week, I'll be diving into the Dragonbreath series, starting with the titular book one.

What are you reading?

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for stopping by! I am looking forward to reading a Christmas-y book that isn't cheesy.

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  2. A new Gary Schmidt! I must add this to the TBR pile. His stuff really is so good.
    And Three Times Lucky. Oh. Apparently I had heard of it somewhere (on the TBR list already). Did not remember that.
    And Peculiars was already on the TBR list but now I want it more.

    Goodness. So many good books.

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    1. I really like this direction from Schmidt. I'm happy to see him tackling new genres and keeping things fresh.

      Three Times Lucky got a push from the publisher when it first came out, but that was back in May. I remember seeing some ads on Goodreads, maybe? The cover certainly is eye-catching.

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  3. Yay, Gary Schmidt! I purchased two of his books this year (hoping to read soon), Wednesday Wars & Okay for Now, but glad to know you enjoyed What Came from the Stars, too. I was thinking a lot about sci fi as a genre today so it was neat to see that you posted about it being the poster child for sci fi being a serious read, too. =)

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    1. Okay for Now was one of my favorite reads of the last year. It's first-person narration and the way he uses hints of unexplained information both to create suspense and mystery for the reader and to develop character in the protagonist at the same time is amazing.

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  4. So...I've never heard of Gary Schmidt. But I'm off to check him out! Thanks for the recommendation.

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    1. He's definitely worth a read. His best-known books, the companion novels The Wednesday Wars and Okay for Now, are realistic historical fiction (1950's). Science fiction is, I believe, a new direction for him and one I'm happy to see him try.

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  5. So glad to hear you liked both Schmidt's latest and Three Times Lucky. Okay for Now has been one of the better books I have read in the last few years--adult or kid/ya, and I second your praise for him and I look forward to reading this title. I've been hearing mixed things from a few folks on Three Times Lucky, though I think the premise sounds so intriguing.

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    1. I completely agree about Okay for Now. Spectacular book.

      I can see Three Times Lucky being too cutesy for some and too dark (in certain scenes) for others. While I found those two sides balanced each other out, the scales may tip too far in one direction for other readers.

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