Youth Fiction Potpourri

Getting to the last of the old book log. From here on out, it’s new stuff…

The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963, Christopher Paul Curtis: This was a terrific book — a wonderful portrayal of a black family in early 1960s Flint, MI. It was hilarious (all the way through the end): the narrator called his family the “Wacky Watsons” and they were. And it was touching especially towards the end. As a bonus, Curtis included a nice endnote about the Civil Rights movement. I loved every minute I spent reading this book.

Holes, Louis Sachar: An interesting book, and a well-written one. I really liked Sachar’s use of myth and the main character’s family history to help the plot line along. Give it time – I didn’t like it at first, but it grew on me as the story progressed.

Skeleton Man, Joseph Bruchac
A great ghost/mystery story. Girl comes home from school to the news that her parents are dead and long lost “relatives” are taking over. She doesn’t believe the “relatives” or that her parents are dead…

The Wish List, Eoin Colfer
About a girl who dies and is given a second chance at redemption by being sent back to help a man she had wrong. A really good book; better than Artemis Fowl.

The Lion Tamer’s Daughter and Other Stories, Peter Dickenson
I remember that they were good ghost stories, but I don’t remember anything about them.

The Thief Lord, Cynthia Funke
An interesting tale – runaway children on the streets of Venice – with a very interesting ending. I think it might have lost something in translation (I think it was originally written in German); some parts felt awkward.

Hoot, Carl Hiaasen
A delightfully unusual, fun little book about Florida, burrowing owls and finding friends. Loved it.

The Islander, Cynthia Rylant
A very slight book, though not a memorable one – I think I liked it, but I’m not quite sure.

Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Susan Vreeland
Interesting series of short stories, working backwards in time. All include reference to/or are about a Vermeer painting.

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