Monday, September 24, 2007

Carolyn Reeder/Neal Shusterman/Etc.

Have not been motivated to read lately, but did get through a few things this weekend.

Carolyn Reeder's Shades of Gray and Captain Kate were both good historical fiction. Not too long or confusing, interesting plots, quite serviceable. Shades of Gray was a bit on the philosophical side, with a young boy going to live with an aunt and an uncle who did not support the Civil War. Takes a while for the boy to realize that this is because of the toll that war takes, not because his uncle thought that the North was any better. This would not be a good fit for a boy who wanted an action novel, however. Captain Kate almost fits into the survival fiction mode-- young girl and her stepbrother attempt to take a canal boat 180 miles along the Chesapeake and Ohio canal on their own. And my 14 year old claims she is not competent enough to vaccuum!

Also read Shusterman's What Daddy Did. Father shoots mother, that's what he did, and the book deals with how the son copes. It's odd, though, because there wasn't a history of violence or abuse, and everyone is very forgiving. Father gets out of jail in three years. Good, but struck me as odd. Not what he's been writing lately, either.

Rottman's Hero was good. Boy abused by his mother and abandoned by his father ends up doing community service on a ranch where the owner takes an interest in him and with the help of a colt turns the boy around.

Since Madeleine L'Engle's death, I have been looking vaguely at her works on the shelves, which have sort of gone out of fashion. Thought I had read them all, but picked up House Like A Lotus, which I must have missed. Must say I didn't get it, and it is that sort of overwrought 1980s pointless drama that was in vogue. Sort of Cynthia Voigt-like. I somehow didn't care. I am sure that I will get grief about this from my best friend, who is a huge L'Engle fan, but I couldn't even care that it was Meg's daughter. Meg grows up and has 6 children. I was just disappointed.

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