Books I’ve already talked about
Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia
Ms. Marvel vol. 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
Ravensbrück by Sarah Helm
Picture Book Monday
Murder is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens
Curse of the Iris by Jason Fry
Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon
The Detective’s Assistant by Kate Hannigan
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Rose Under Fire: audiobook review
Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand
House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones: I do like this one, although I almost wish it weren’t connected to HMC at all, since I think I would enjoy it more on its own merits. But Howl as a toddler is pretty hilarious.
Infandous by Elana K. Arnold: Dark and layered. I loved the way myths & fairy tales were woven in, and I appreciated a lot about it. However, when I read it, I was burnt out on Important books, however well written and necessary. So I’m not sure how much that flavors my feelings of slight frustration with this one; I wanted it to be a little less slight, maybe?
Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi: Complex, interesting look at friendship and grief and what happens when we ask too much of each other. The text is interspersed with graphic novel panels, which worked a little less well for me than the standard narration. It wasn’t my favorite, but I’m glad I read it.
Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond: I’m not a huge Superman fan (*ducks for cover*) but I really enjoyed this YA book focusing on Lois Lane in high school. Girl reporter! Trying to find out the truth and tangling with authority figures. It’s lots of fun.
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson: Brandy mentioned that both she & her daughter loved this mg graphic novel about roller derbys, so when it came into my library I had to check it out. It’s a great look at growing up and friendships and roller derbys (!!). Also great for Raina Telgemeier fans–I know everyone is pitching it as this, but it fits so well.
NIMONA by Noelle Stevenson: I loved Nimona. It was originally posted as a webcomic and I started reading about 2/3 of the way through the series. I wasn’t sure how it would be to read it as a book, but the format worked really well and HarperCollins did a great job with the colors & quality. And I loved the characters & story just as much. (I’m a SHARK!)
Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones: I listened to this as an audiobook and am saving it for a Reluctant Listener review later.
All the Rage by Courtney Summers: Hard read, wonderfully written. I think Romy is the most tender & vulnerable of Summers’ characters (that I’ve read, anyway) and I found myself hurting so much for her. It’s really all about fallout and how you keep going. I think what I found most extraordinary was the way Summers gives us Romy’s point of view without justifying all her thoughts and actions, but also without condemning them.
The Snow Spider by Jenny Nimmo: This is a small, odd little middle grade fantasy. It’s set in Wales, which is totally catnip to me. However, I felt a bit distanced from all the characters–it was like emotional beats were set up but not fleshed out enough for me to buy them.
The Bell Family by Noel Streatfeild: This was a Streatfeild that I don’t think I’ve read before. It was reissued recently, and is a charming little book. Perfect for lying on a couch with a bad cold, although I think it lacks some of the texture of her best books.
A Volcano Beneath the Snow by Albert Marrin: A juvenile biography of John Brown. This one did a nice job of really focusing on the context, so it’s not simply telling the story of one individual. Also, imo, a nice example of showing individuals–including Brown, Lincoln, and Douglass–as complex and contradictory, without trying to smooth out their weaknesses and inconsistencies. (I’m less sure about the conclusion at the end.)
Most Likely to Succeed by Jennifer Echols: review coming closer to the release date
The End of the Sentence by Maria Dahvana Headley and Kat Howard: This is a weird little book and I’m still not sure if I actually liked it or not. I think maybe not? But I liked some of the echoes? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
This Side of Home by Renee Watson: I’d been hearing how excellent this one is for awhile, and it absolutely is. It takes a close look at universal issues of growing up and dealing with personal changes, while at the same time looking at wider changes of gentrification and racism. Maya is a thoughtful narrator, and the story doesn’t give any easy answers but treats a complex issue with the care it deserves.