Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A few good books

I am impressed with the progress I've made on my stack o' library books. In an attempt to catch up on recent Newberry award winners, I read "Criss Cross" and "Tale of Despereaux" this week.

"Criss Cross" by Lynne Rae Perkins was a fun read. Subtly historical, this is a story that fits any era. While the ending was unsatisfying, I recognize that this is because it's meant to be a book about life that isn't extraordinary for any reason other than the fact that it's life. I wanted a happy ending, but life doesn't always have those. I do wonder if young readers will get the simplicity of the story, but clearly this book has earned some level of popularity.

Kate DiCamillo's "Tale of Despereaux" is a sweet fairy tale. In sharp contrast to the other award winner I just mentioned, there is a happily ever after for many of the characters. Now, I love fairy tales, and I love fairy tale retellings, and I thought this was a charming modern fairy tale. I'm so used to recycled stories in this genre that it was a lot of fun to read something that, while being formulaic for the genre, was still uniquely flavored.

Hooray for reading YA! I'm taking a few books with me this weekend to my sister-in-law's wedding, but I'm not expecting to take a long enough break from dancing and family photos to make any headway. Keep your eyes out for another set of reviews next week!

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