Sunday, June 19, 2011

Middle Grade Binge Follow-up

The results of the Feb MG reading binge are in, thanks to a curious reader and fellow writer. I started replying with this list but quickly realized a comment this long should be its own post. So, here it is! Thanks, Michelle! (Here she is on twitter.)

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen -- Good book, with an interesting premise and loads of suspense. Was a little annoyed with narrative style at times, especially the use of repetition to create tension. But it did create tension...

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman -- Wonderful! I recently saw this book reviewed as "charming"; I absolutely agree. Lovely characters, interesting themes, compelling plot.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling -- I admit books 1 and 2 in this series are my least favorite. The world of magic is stunning, and characters are thoroughly enjoyable and absorbable (if I may), though not round at all in most cases. Pacing was odd, very slow near the beginning. Despite these drawbacks, a very enjoyable book.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen -- A curious book with possibly too-round characters, causing the plot itself to take backseat. I enjoyed it for many of the same reasons I enjoy adult upmarket fiction, and was glad the MC was so likeable and realistic.

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang -- So much fun, kept me on my toes. The artwork and stories are exquisite and humorous. Couldn't put it down and have been recommending to everyone.  (Sent it to my deployed husband.)

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan -- Enjoyable, not as a much as I'd hoped. I read it quite ravenously (what's going to happen??), but then felt no desire at all to continue reading the series. I think the characters fell somewhat flat for me.

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer -- Fantastic. A bit squirmy in places; I found the themes rather mature for the intended audience, though not too mature, I think. It was also slow at the beginning. But very good.

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin -- How I love this book. It's gorgeous, deeply interior, inspiring. And short enough that even if you have misgivings, you could read it in a sitting; you too will have the chance to fall in love with Earthsea as I have.