Posts Tagged ‘YA books’

“If it’s raining, it’s always Billie Holiday.” There are so many things Navigating Early, by Clare Vanderpool, gets right. This is a story about navigation, first of all, and it begins with being lost. Everyone in this book has lost something or someone, and each in some way must find a way home. Jack Baker […]

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


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 […]

Life’s been hectic, but in a good way–weddings and significant birthdays all over to attend and enjoy–but it does make keeping up with a blog a bit hit or miss, and I confess to missing more than I ought. On the positive side for the blog, at least, I’ve been doing airport reading, and I […]



Long post today. Mockingjay is the third book in Suzanne Collins wildly popular Hunger Games series, and it came out two days ago, so I’ve had the chance to read it carefully and to think about it and process it a little, but not to do my usual second read . . . and I’m […]

In the interests of full disclosure, I should tell you that I feel connected to Norma Fox Mazer–she was my teacher and I counted her among my friends. She was a graduate of Antioch College about 20 years before I was and she taught at the Vermont College MFA in Writing for Children program when […]

Back to M. T. Anderson‘s Thirsty. I’ve talked about how deftly the reader is led into a world where vampires are real, where vampires are killed publicly on recognition because if you are a vampire and you are alive, you are a murderer. And we see that world through the eyes of the protagonist. {SPOILER […]

Hunger Games


I finally read Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, and it’s about time. This was a good book. Others have noticed its similarity to The Lightning Thief and that really interests me. Certainly they both are geared to the late preteens out there with a lot of action and a strong first person protagonist. They are […]

. . . and only because of the comments! Certainly, on the surface this is a story of sibling rivalry, of a child feeling that her (step) mother loves her siblings more than her, and of sibling rivalry set right. Bettelheim, in The Uses of Enchantment, says it is a story “. . . of […]