Young Adult & Kids Reads

Whether it is accurate or not, I view books written for adults as being more time consuming and requiring more of my brain power than books written for young adults and kids. So the books for adults that I read recently were mostly ones I had put on hold months ago and delayed, while the books for young adults and kids weren’t delayed, they just showed up whenever they were ready. These are the two that were here and that I read while in COVID quarantine.

This is a title that’s come up in my virtual book club and I’m not sure I even realized it was a young adult title until it arrived. I didn’t totally see the end coming, which was pretty amazing. I also, though, wasn’t super thrilled with it. (Which is really about me, I know, because I don’t like having characters I liked turn out badly in the end.) I enjoyed the multi-genre aspect of the book, the way the author used journal entries and things to add to the narrative. I’ll probably read the sequels, but I’m not in a rush for them.

This book was one that kept popping up on various librarian and teacher blogs and on twitter. I very much like Anne Ursu and yet, something kept making me push this book back behind others on my to read list. I’m not sure why. I finally did pick it up and read it in less than a day. It is as good as people had said. I’m not sure it’s one I can pull off as a read aloud with my third graders (it’s pretty long, for one thing) but I may give it a try. It really gets at ideas of classism, sexism, gaslighting, and more. The characters are wonderfully diverse in many different ways, although I don’t know that it would be obvious to younger readers. If I choose it as a read aloud that is something I may have to help them notice. The ways the characters accept what they’re told and struggle to believe in themselves feels so real, even as they’re in a fantasy world.

These two books were both written by white women, which means I didn’t do much stretching of myself as a reader here. That’s a little disappointing to me.

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