Friday, June 26, 2009

Ink on His Fingers by Louise A. Vernon

This was a pre-read for Simon. I came at it with a grudge for two reasons:

(1) I've really soured on the "historical fiction with overt Christian emphasis" sub-sub-genre lately. These books get raves in homeschooling circles, but they are generally wooden, predictable, and moralistic. Ugh.

(2) I've OD'ed on the "historical fiction with a child as apprentice to a major historical figure" sub-sub-genre, perhaps because we've done The Second Mrs. Gionconda and I, Juan de Pareja in quick succession. I get that this is an obvious was to write YAL on an historical figure, but enough already!

But to my surprise, I like this book. The wooden-ness and cheap moralizing were there, but there is a scene which is positively brilliant: the child approaches all of the wealthy people in town to get money out of them to support Gutenburg and each one has a different reason for believing that printing will never catch on.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Little Children by Tom Perrotta

Good plot, good characterization, but too vulgar.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Beduins' Gazelle by Frances Temple

A pre-read for Simon. This was a great book--recommended for kids or as a read-aloud.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ada Blackjack : A True Story of Survival in the Arctic by Jennifer Niven

This was a good book. Had it been 100 pages shorter, it might have been a great book.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Dreams from My Father : A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

I was not expecting this to be so well-written, so interesting, so un-self-consciously non-political, so bawdy, or so racially-focused. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

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