Monday, January 8, 2018

Monday: Mini-Reviews

I've had a good start to my 2018 reading.  Over the past week I've managed to read a book every single day, which has been kind of nice.

I'm not going to do a big, long review of all the title I've read. Instead, I'm going to give you a synopsis of a few of the books I read this week.  A few you'll see later as a part of blog tours.

 These three YA titles were all fantastic reads.

1.  Trell by Dick Lehr - Van Trell is almost fourteen years old and her father has been in prison her entire life.  He was convicted of killing a thirteen year old girl when Van Trell was just a baby. However, there are plenty of people who believe that Trell's dad is innocent, something he has always claimed. As Trell tries to find a way to prove her dad didn't kill anyone, she and a newspaper reporter uncover plenty of things that make them question what really happened the night of the girl's death.  Lots of suspense and investigative journalism. I was turning pages as quickly as I could.

2.  Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi- there aren't tons of YA memoirs out there, which is unfortunate. This is a great addition to this genre. Saedi is funny and I found myself chuckling quite often as I read. She also manages to share her experiences as an undocumented immigrant and the process (long and painful) that she and her family went through to become citizens.  And she does a great job of showing readers how, despite different backgrounds and countries of origin, we are really more alike than we are different . 

3.  A Sky Full of Stars by Linda Williams Jackson - this is the second novel in a series (I hope there are plans for more), set in Mississippi in the 1950s.  It's hard to believe that Rose and her family live in the conditions they do at that period in history, but Jackson is basing this story on memories of her own childhood, and people really did live as sharecroppers even as recently as the 1950s. This book picks up right where the first book left off - Emmett Till has been murdered and racial tensions continue to rise as more African Americans have been shot.  When Ruby Bridges refuses to give up her seat on the bus, the bus boycotts begin.  Rose is a teenage girl witnessing all of this as she tries to take care of her family and dreams of an uncertain future.  This is a perfect second novel, so my hopes are high that readers will get to see Rose again.

I'd happily recommend these three titles to anyone looking for an excellent way to start of their reading in 2018.

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