Monday, February 26, 2018

Monday Mini-Reviews

I will admit that I'm enjoying the mini review format I'm trying out on Mondays.  Most of the time.  There are some books that I could write pages about, yet the person who would want to read that much about a book (and still want to actually read the book after reading that much about it) would be few and far between.  

I've got three great books for you again this week because the mediocre stuff I've read doesn't make the cut anymore. 

The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern - I don't know how this book escaped me.  I loved it.  It's set in the 80s, which means before I have even read a word, I'm loving it.  Maggie has two older sisters that she has a hard time keeping up with.  They are both thin and leggy, while Maggie enjoys good food and reading books.  Her dad has been losing feeling in his legs for a while now and is in a wheelchair.  Maggie doesn't really know what is wrong with him, but things appear to be getting worse.  This is a somewhat autobiographical novel and Sovern so captures what life was like in the 80s, and Maggie's voice is so real, you won't want to miss this novel.  This is perfect for 5th - 8th grade readers.

One Child by Rhiannon Navin - this novel is one I could probably go on about for quite a while.  It was published on February 20, which I am not sure is helpful. The novel centers around a school shooting, and in light of the recent school shooting in Florida, I can see some readers being unable to tackle this topic in fiction since it is also playing out in real life.  However.....this novel is amazing. It is also devastating.  The entire story is narrated by a six year old, Zach, who was in school, hiding in a closet with his teacher during the shooting.  He must deal with the aftermath of the tragedy, watching his parents fall apart and try to move on.  Navin shows how messy life is, how families who were right in the middle of "stuff" may end up dealing with death and tragedy, and that "stuff" is still there.  Zach is a fantastic narrator as he sees the little things that many adults ignore, and is able to really get at what needs to happen to move on.  There are plenty of school shooting stories out there. If you are feeling in the mood to tackle one of them, this is a great choice.

Layover by Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer - Layover is a fun YA novel narrated in turn by three siblings who have decided not to get on the plane to Bora Bora where they will hear their parents announce plans to divorce. Instead they have an adventure in LA.  There are certain things that have happened in the past they need to work out, and although things aren't necessarily smooth sailing during their time together, the three have a bond that no one can break.  I thought this one might be a little more of a romance than it is - which is ok.  The author duo nicely wrapped things up in this story, and I felt hopeful for the future of these three characters.  

Happy Monday! And Happy Reading!


Kay said...

I've been hearing good things about One Child. Will likely read it at some point later this spring. I liked this format for you. :-)

Rhiannon Navin said...

Great format. Thank you for including Only Child.