Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Book Blogging -- Because I've been Reading

Somehow, my collectrion of random musings on Kidlit with a hint of religion and politics has become all Legion, all the time.  So, with apologies to those of you looking for more Legion news, here's a round-up of what I've been reading:

This book is great-- not just the steampunk plot set at the dawn of World War 1, but the physical book.   The pages are heavy, the illustrations help set the mood.  Before I started reading, I spent about 15 minutes gasping with joy because the book itself was an amazing sensory experience.  Even the endpapers make me sigh.

The plot moves quickly and the characters are fascinating.  It's not as dark as the Uglies series - I'd let a precocious 10 or 11 year old read it. (Note to new blog readers-- when in doubt, preview the book yourself! I know we all have different standards for our children.)

I love Ally Carter.  Her Gallagher Girls novels manage to combine screwball romantic comedy (Think Katherine Hepburn) with action/adventure.  And her books are CLEAN.   She purposely writes them so they'll be fit for 11 or 12 year olds, but entertaining for all ages.

Heist Society isn't as lighthearted as her previous books-- the heroine has two weeks to plan the crime of the century, or her father will be murdered.  But Kat is clever, her fri

A great debut novel.  Nim is a "Trouser Girl" in a land that seems to be based on Victorian England.  In her homeland, she would have been an honored performer, singing and dancing for royalty. But she left home to seek her fortune, and now she's stuck singing in third rate music halls.  A mysterious nobleman hires her to accompany a piano-playing automaton. Nim gets pulled into a decades old mystery, and discovers secrets that endanger her life and the automaton's existance.

A great fantasy-mystery, also fine for the 11 and 12 year old crowd.  I liked it because there were also not-very-thinly-veiled references to Jane Eyre.

I started reading Jane Yolen back in Elementary School, when I stumbled across her "Pit Dragon" books.  A few years ago I tore through her Scottish Novels.  Devils Arithmatic is one of my favorite Holocaust books of all time.  There was no way that I'd miss her latest book.

First of all, for the parents out there, this is definitely a YA or adult book.  There are several sex scenes (though not graphic and WITH complications-- always a plus!), and a lot of blood and violence.  Because by the end, the fairies are at war. 

This book turns the old story of 'mortal lost in the land of faerie' on its head.  The story revolves around two sisters who caught the Fairy Queen in a compramising position with a mortal man.  They're exiled from Faerie and forced to learn the rules and navigate the dangers of that bizarre place known as 'The Mortal World.'  Initially, they're just trying to survive in a land of iron buildings and money, but soon they get drawn into a web of intrigue -- which seems to center on two young mortals.

This book was a ton of fun, but, as I said, not really great for younger teens.  I'd put it firmly in the "Preview" catagory.  After all, you know your kids and what they'll be able to handle. I would have loved it at 15 or 16, but it would have freaked me out at 12.

Anyway, that's how I've been spending my nursing time the last 2 weeks. Nothing terribly deep, but these books are so much better than anything on daytime television! :)

Also, for the record, if I wrote as well as ANY of these people, I'd be over the moon! (And published by now!)

ends are intriguing, and the plot twists keep the book moving at a quick pace.  Carter's books aren't trying to be deep or great literature, but there's noone I'd rather spend a rainy spring afternoon with.  Her books just scream for a warm cup of cocoa and a big comfy chair.  (Also a roaring fire, but my house doesn't have a fireplace, so I do without!)

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