Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

John Green‘s Looking for Alaska won the 2006 ALA Michael L. Prinz Award and was the 2005. School Library Journal’s Book of the Year. Sumner County Schools in Tennessee have just banned the book, considering a brief oral sex scene as too racy for the teen audience. They are not the first to do so: […]


The Book Thief

02Apr11

When the narrator of the novel is Death, it’s hard to imagine that all will end well. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, is narrated by Death and takes place in Germany between 1939 and 1945. True, Death plays a major role in the story and the times, but the protagonist is Liesel Meminger, who […]


First, thank you to Deborah Netanel for suggesting The Book Thief. I just picked it from the BSBSD (yep, bedside book stack of doom) and it’s wonderful. More on it later. But can anyone out there think of books other than The Book Thief and several of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books with Death as a/the […]


I don’t usually do Literary Symbolism, just developmental/psychological interpretation, but with The Life of Pi, I just can’t resist one quick foray. The book itself is an allegory not only at a developmental level, which I mentioned last time, but also an allegory about the nature of belief. At the end of the book when […]


The Life of Pi

27Apr10

This is the latest book to come to the top of the Bed Side Book Stack of Doom (BSBSD), and it’s fascinating. It is an allegory that works on a number of levels, with touches that show just how carefully the author thought things through. The Life of Pi was written by Yann Martel, published […]


Amputation 2

17Apr10

I’m going, as always, to assume you’ve either read the books here or don’t mind a little bit of a spoiler. The books are good reading, particularly The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti but Moonstone by Marilee Brothers is fun, too. The climaxes of both books have amputation threats. In Moonstone Allie’s mother is threatened […]


I stayed up two hours past my bedtime to read Moonstone, by Marilee Brothers. It’s a supernatural YA romance with an appealing fifteen year old protagonist, Allie, who falls from an aluminum ladder face first into a cowflop, zapped on the way down by an electric fence and thus discovers her super powers. Allie lives […]


Odds and Ends

11Apr10

I am proudly wearing my School Library Journal Battle of the Books 2010 T shirt! My goal next year will be to read all the books involved before they’re judged. Browsing Borders, I found Wild Things, by Dave Eggers. It’s a novelization of the movie Where the Wild Things Are, which he cowrote with Spike […]


I was reading Selena Chambers March post, Stay Tombed: Is Monster Lit Worth Unearthing? on bookslut today, and it was a lot of fun. It did convince me that I want to read A. E. Moorat’s Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter, which would be something of a new genre for me. So what do monsters represent in […]


Thinking about The Juniper Tree and about younger kidlit and comparing it with Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson. YA literature attacks issues far more head-on than the younger literature. Think about, for instance, the way that The Juniper Tree took on issues of identity, emerging sexuality and parental love. These were certainly layered elegantly into […]