Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Other books I haven't finished

Dear Miss Breed...enjoying this a lot, but somehow I got sidetracked. I really like the "doublespeak" sidebars--great attention to her audience. So far a couple of little things bug me though: the pictures of postcards on pp. 64-5 are NOT the ones she describes on p.55. Readers will notice. On p.103 there's a mention in a letter about a "Korean" leading a raid, and I don't think young readers will have the context of Korean/Japanese relations during WWII to understand why this was pointed out. These are small things, sure, and not necessarily enough to drag a great book down, but they are the sort of thing the Newbery (or Sibert) committees might discuss. I will get back to this one!

Samurai Shortstop. Got as far as p.111 before I decided I could stop. Great fun...but not developed enough, to me, to meet Newbie criteria.

Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini. I picked this one cause I love Houdini and I love Sid Fleischman. It's his first foray into nonfiction. Wonderful reading...but I have too many questions so far about what sources were used for particular incidents. He includes a bibliography, but no specific notes. This could be forgivable, except that in Houdini's case so much is disputed, AND Fleischman makes a great point about that. On the one hand he'll point out to the reader that he thinks a certain story is unlikely and why, and then a few pages later report an equally unbelieveable tale without question. Hm. If you don't want us to believe everything, you have to give us a basis to trust you on something.

I did finish Here Lies the Librarian. I loved the goofy characters and setting, but I think the lumpy story arc will be enough to split the crowd on this one.


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