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April 03, 2009

March Books

2009 Finishes: Books

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Genre: Young adult
Pages: 422
Rating: 4.8
Okay, I know I posted this last month, but that was a mistake - I actually finished it in March.
Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors, and she certainly doesn't disappoint with this one. 17-year-old Ruby is abandoned by her mother and sent to live with Cora, the older sister she barely knows. After years of living a marginal existence with her addict mother, Ruby has to learn to trust people and become part of Cora's world. She has some help from Nate, the boy next door who is hiding his own secrets, and is wonderfully but believably appealing, as Dessen's male leads tend to be. Cora's husband Jamie is a great secondary character as well.

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
Genre: Juvenile
Pages: 275
Rating: 3.4
I had somehow never read this one as a kid - not sure why. I read it with a few of the fifth graders I work with, and they completely adored it. They pretty much thought it was the best thing ever. Now, I'm not generally a fan of animal stories in general (at least this kind of talking animal story - I love, say, the Saddle Club), but I thought this one was pretty good. It was charming, and obviously well-written - it is White, after all. When I was trying to describe it to some adults, I started realizing just how weird some of the plot elements were - bondage! self-mutilation! - but the kids didn't seem to pick up on any of that. So I don't know. My feelings were mixed. Come to think of it, I never liked Charlotte's Web as much as I thought I should have, and the concept of Stuart Little always creeped me out a little so I never actually read it. Maybe White's children's books just don't do it for me. I'll stick with Here Is New York. Or, you know, The Elements of Style.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Genre: Science fiction
Pages: 211
Rating: 4.8
This was a reread, obviously. I convinced one of my fifth grade reading buddies to give it a try, and I read it along with him. He was hesitant at first because it was "so old," but he wound up loving it, so I was pleased. I find it hard to come up with anything coherent to say about this book - other than "It's so good! What do you mean you've never read it? You have to read it!" - partially because I wrote a thesis on L'Engle and . . . I don't know. But you have to read it! L'Engle herself called it her "love letter to God" and it's the best one-volume synthesis of her philosophy and theology, in addition to being a darn good sci fi/adventure story.

Posted by Kat at April 3, 2009 08:33 PM

I loved The Trumpet of the Swan. Way better than Charlotte's Web or Stuart Little.

Posted by: Chris at April 3, 2009 09:34 PM
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