Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Book 539: The Crown of Ptolemy

The Crown of Ptolemy, by Rick Riordan, Disney-Hyperion, 2015.

This book came with another book.  I doubt if I would have bought this one for its own merit.

It is great to revisit the Percy Jackson character, but this isn't one of his stronger stories or adventures.  And, for a Rick Riordan book, it wrapped up in a surprisingly tidy little bow.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Book 538: The House of Hades

The House of Hades, by Rick Riordan, Disney-Hyperion, 2013

Sometimes I can't count on the library having a book that I really want to read, especially when a series is involved.  In those cases, I just have to buy the book.

This was a pretty exciting, pretty great read.  There was SO much going on -- so many characters, so many story lines, so many heartbreaks.  I was, however, vastly amused by the character and repeated mention of Hyperion.

I really hope that Bob can say hello to the stars in the next book.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Book 537: Little Bear's Friend

Little Bear's Friend, written by Else Holmelund Minarik, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, Harper Collins, 1960.

I love Little Bear.  And Emily.  And Lucy.  So it is probably no wonder that I named two characters in my first book 'Emily' and 'Lucie' -- even though I hadn't read a Little Bear book for about thirty years back then.

The illustrations are delightfully and perfectly vintage Sendak.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Book 536: Bellman & Black

Bellman & Black, by Diane Setterfield, Atria Book, 2013.

This is a beautifully written book.  And that may be the problem.  The lovely, poetic prose just doesn't quite match up with a stark tale of madness and death.  Maybe if the writing had been rawer, more emotional, less contained, we could have seen more of Bellman and understood better his descent.  But instead, this book just seemed to drift like an iridescent feather from a rook until it is caught up in a sudden wind and disappears entirely.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Book 535: Ready Player One

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, Random Books, 2011.

Are thorough editors a thing of the past?

The story for this book was great.  The pacing was mostly pretty good.  The character development was good.  But, because close editing obviously did not happen, there are some pretty big plot holes and other annoyances.

For example, early in the book Wade says he can't miss anymore school days or he will be expelled from the OASIS school and have to return to a bricks-and-mortar school.  So what happens?  His misses a day of school to go on his quest.  Then he pretty much blows off the last two weeks, including final week, of his senior year.  Is he expelled?  Nope.  He still receives his diploma by email.

There are other oversights, but they are more integral to the plot, so I won't go into them.


Monday, July 4, 2016

Book 534: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, Penguin (originally published in 1900).

L. Frank Baum was the J.K. Rowling of his day; or, she is the L. Frank Baum of modern times.

They both weave amazing and intriguing tales that span several books, but each book is self-contained.  And yet, neither excels especially at the craft of writing.  Even so, the content SO outweighs the delivery that both writers are brilliant.

For those who have seen the film, the book is close, and also completely different.  The land of Oz is FAR more intriguing in the books than it is in the movie.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Book 533: Beachy and Me

Beachy and Me, by Bob Staake, Random House, 2016.

My seven-year-old son LOVES Bob Staake's work, so whenever Mr. Staake has a new book out, I will, of course, buy it.

I also let my son review this book, so here it goes:

"I liked Beachy and Me because it was a good story.  It was a story about being friends, even though you might be different like the little girl and the whale.  The illustrations are beautiful because Bob Staake is an illustrator who makes beautiful illustrations."