Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Book 578: Rocks and Minerals (A Gem of a Read)

Book 578:  Rocks and Minerals (A Gem of a Read), Simon Basher, written by Dan Green, Kingfisher 2009.

My third-grade son LOVES the Basher series.  Right now, he is so interested in rocks that he wanted a rock collection for his birthday, so this book was perfect reading material for him.  The only reason it is not five stars is because he thinks the illustrations are a little 'weird'.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Book 577: The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, Penguin Classic, 1962.

I escaped reading this book in both high school and college, maybe because I focused more on British writers than American ones. I avoided reading this book in my 20s when I was followed by my own black dog. Now, from the lofty age of fifty, I've read the book. 

I understand the importance of this book. I also understand the accuracy of this book. I didn't like this book, but it deservedly is a modern classic and should be read with great care.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Book 576: The Mission Song

The Mission Song, by John le Carre, Little, Brown and Company, 2006.

I'm guessing this book wasn't the best of le Carre.  That, of course, doesn't mean this book was in any way bad; it wasn't.  It just didn't feel as sharp and complete as other of his books I've read.

The protagonist was brilliant, a multi-linguist interpreter trapped between two worlds in every realm:  Black and White, good and bad, canny and naive, married and not married, etc.   Even his age of 28 seems to be a doorway between a young man and a season adult.

The rest of the book was similarly murky and uncertain, which may have been the point, but it somehow took away from the poignancy of the protagonist.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Book 575: Solar Eclipse 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017, Science Across America, 2017.

I'm only about three months late in reviewing this book.  That's not bad, right?

I did buy this book prior to the total eclipse that was supposed to be visible in our city in South Carolina.  My son read all about the eclipse, had his special glasses, and was otherwise ready for the eclipse.  Alas, the weather did not cooperation.  It did get as dark as dusk (not quite midnight), which was quite dramatic, but he did not get to see the stages of the sun's cover.

The book, however, saved much of the day, as he had fun activities to work on after the eclipse.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Book 574: A Walk in the Tundra

A Walk in the Tundra, written by Rebecca L Johnson, illustrated by Phyllis V. Saroff, Carolhoda Books, 2001.

We have this book for my son's third-grade Science class.  He is learning about ecosystems, and the Tundra was on of them.

The text for this book is good, and the illustration are detailed and helpful, but this book is set up more for literature than a science class.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Book 573: Pigs Rock!

Pigs Rock!, written by Melanie Davis Jones, illustrated by Bob Staake, Viking 2003.

I don't know the author's other work, but nothing about the text or 'story' struck me as being anything special or unique.  Usually I love the illustrator's work, but this time, the work felt flat, without any sense of whimsy or fun.  To me, both the author and illustrator were sleepwalking through this book.




Saturday, August 5, 2017

Book 572: The Divorce Papers

The Divorce Papers, by Susan Rieger, Crown Publishing, 2014.

I found this book for a dollar, it looked interesting, so I bought it.

Full disclosure:  I spent seven years working in Criminal Law, and five years working in Family Law (before becoming a Children's Librarian).  I have drafted many, many divorce pleadings, answers, orders, agreements, and letters.  I found this book, if not exactly hilarious, at least amusing.  I think, however, the coming from a law background is a prerequisite for enjoying this book at all.