Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

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.