The Unstoppable Octobia May. I heard about this book when I met Ms. Flake on February 27. This was an incredible moment for me, as I have long loved Ms. Flake's work. From Money Hungry to Pinned, and everything in between.
I looked everywhere for an eARC, I checked netgalley and edelweiss literally every day.
Then it came.
Ms. Flake sent it to me, a real, live ARC-ARC!
The bummer was I was heading right in to a preaching stint up at Bradford Wood Community Church, so I couldn't start a book, especially one that I was so looking forward to, until that was completed. Preaching God's Holy Word is a daunting task. I love it, but it is frightening. I give all of my all to it.
Before I began Octobia, I must admit that I was concerned about how much I was looking forward to this book, because, as a pessimist, I was worried that I wouldn't LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I thought, on no. what if it doesn't blow me away? What if it just doesn't pull at me, the way that Ms. Flake's other works have? What would I say to Ms. Flake herself? What would I write here?
There was no need for any of that worry.
And I should have realized that. Just like Madeleine L'Engle, Robert B. Parker, Christopher Paul Curtis, Jacqueline Woodson, and Grace Lin, Sharon G. Flake can do no wrong. Well, L'Engle and Parker are gone from us, but you know what I mean!
What a character this Octobia May is. My friend, Emily is on the Amelia Bloomer Project Committee for ALA this year and I really believe that Octobia would be a perfect addition to this list.
What a wonderful, wonderful book. It is deep where it needs to be, truly entertaining and moving. There are many quotable lines here, so many passages that will stick with me.
good and bad live side by side on the piano or organ keyboard - Octobia wonders if this is true. I think that it is. This is a smart, smart girl. All of the characters are incredibly well-drawn.
And well, unstoppable. Just like Ms. Flake.
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.