What's Going On Here?

There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monsters Among Us

I really, really loved Saints and Misfits.  I loved the way in which it was a story in which Janna's faith was and wasn't the focus of the book.  I mean, it wasn't preachy.  It wasn't gimmicky.  It was the story of a girl who happened to be Muslim and her faith is important, but also it wasn't ALL that she was.  It wasn't a "Token Muslim" book.  Nor was it a story in which her faith was down-played.  It was just so really well done, you know?  S.K. Ali also does an excellent job of making Janna more than the "Girl Who is Sexually Assaulted."  Just a great, great, really well done book. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

American Girl

Fabiola is an American who has lived in Haiti with her Haitian-born mom for most of her life.  The book chronicles her first year back in the US as she lives with her aunt and three cousins and hopefully awaits the release of her mother from an immigration detention centerAmerican Street is one of the best books I've read this year and I would hope that it would get some kind of Printz recognition.  It takes place in Detroit on American Street.  Excellent book. 

This is it.

Plain and simple.  Auma's Long Run deserves the Newbery this year.  It also deserves the Printz.  If it does not win it will be 1954 all over again.  
Incredible.  Simply incredible.
Eucabeth A. Odhiambo, a professor at Shippensburg University has written and inspirational, heart-breaking, heart-melting, hard and important book telling the story of a 13-year old girl living in Kenya in the 1980s when the AIDS crisis was just beginning to take hold.  
Dr. Odhiambo also an includes this link from the UN which can show you the progress that has been made and the important work that still needs to be done.  
The winner.  No matter what the committee says.  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A LONG time ago

I read the first book in the Internment Chronicles by Lauren DeStefano.  I loved it.  And I loved Wither, from DeStefano.  Fantastic.  And then some how I forgot about the series!  And so now the series has been done for a while and I just finished the second one, Burning Kingdoms which was great.  Three years after reading the first I was able to enjoy this one, as DeStefano did a great job of reminding me what the first one was about (though I did remember a lot of it, it was just that good) without giving the sense that the book was just a rehash.  Great character and world building!  So good!  Reading the third one now!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

No Surprises Here (but in a GOOD way!)

Losers was another middle-grade classic from Andrew Clements.  Guys and gals and those in between will love this book, as it is class Clements with great insight.  The thing about reading is, yes it is wonderful.  But yes, it really can be an escape or a crutch.  And I think it is bold and honest for this issue to be addressed here.  But the book isn't about that primarily.  Its about friendship and crushes and balance and life!  Great stuff

This one wasn't all I wanted it to be

I really want to love a book.  I mean, I think authors are incredibly talented and disciplined.  I can't even imagine being about to write a book, I have a hard enough time with writing a blog post that makes sense.  So every book I read, I want to give it 5 stars and mean it!  But for me, Lemons was one of the few books that I took a star from after a few days, instead of adding one.  That's not to say that was terrible.  It probably is a 3.5 star.  But it just didn't seem Newbery to me.  Maybe if I weren't reading it for the Newbery group, I would have rated it higher, not holding it to an "is this Newbery-worthy" standard.  But then again, I don't think I would have finished it if not for the group.  Again, not that it's a bad book.  It's a decent book.  A good book.  I am sure people love this book!  It just didn't hold my attention really, sadly. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Thing is...

I really did like Lucky Broken Girl.  It just didn't scream NEWBERY to me in a good way or a bad way -- bad way meaning the way that a book about a white girl in a sod house will get the Newbery even though it is terribly boring and good way meaning that it reminds me of the amazing year that The Crossover won.  This book was too diverse and interesting to be a typical Moon Over Manifest bad-win and not quite good enough to be a Crossover or The Hate U Give kinda book.  THUG is still my favorite this year, I think.