Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Anna Dale/Stephanie Hemphill

Going to the library to obtain books cuts into reading time, but since summer reading programs start next week, I thought I had better get the children stocked up. Award Winning books are the theme this summer; the youngest wants fluffy pink books for third graders, the next child wants fantasy books based in reality, and the oldest is going back and forth between Laura Ingalls Wilder and time travel adventures. Keeps me hopping.

Middle child will like Anna Dale's Whispering to Witches (2004). This hit me as a delightful cross between Rumer Godden's The Story of Holly and Ivy (that whole 'being sent from school on a train in England' thing) and the Ruth Chew books. My library has a ton of fantasy books, so I am very careful when I buy new ones, but this one appealed to me. Pretty cover, easy to understand, good character development. Moved along well, fantasy element plausible. And it just made me happy. Read quickly for almost 300 pages.

Novels in verse are usually not my thing, so when I realized Things Left Unsaid was one, I was disappointed, since the description sounded so good. (Nice girl decides to walk on wild side with undesirable friend. Disastrous consequences ensue.) The verse, while not formal, was pretty good (I'm very picky), and there was a coherent plot that went somewhere, something lacking in many novels in verse. The thing I liked best was that the main character decides that the way she was headed was not a good place to go, and her trip back is depicted as well. So many times it is not. May have to buy this one. It has believable angst. And it's a bildungsroman!

Go look it up. It's good for you.

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