Tuesday, April 23, 2019

March Reading Part 1

Oof! Hate that I left the blog on a bummed-out note before budget season pulled me off for a while!

I'd had my March reading queued up for a lunchtime post for some time, but then all lunches were working lunches up until yesterday. Have been doing some fun things at the club too (a friend coordinated a paddle on the 13th, another gorgeous day, and then on the 14th there was a trip-leader review session and a garden committee meeting) but the book list is sitting here, so here we go.

Disclaimer thing: I'm a Scholastic employee but all opinions expressed here are just my personal ones. I'll mark all the Scholastic books with an asterisk.

Dactyl Hill Squad 2, Freedom Fire* by Daniel José Older - Started off the month with this second installation of the Dactyl Hill series.  The Squad is a close-knit group of kids from the Colored Orphans' Asylum in Manhattan who escape to Brooklyn during the horrors of the draft riots. The dactyls are Pterodactyls - in Older's fantasy, dinosaurs survived and humans use them instead of horses, including the flying ones! Great fun and excitement with a lot of very serious history folded in. I get grouchy about series sometimes but so far each book is something of a cohesive story -- I particularly hate getting to the end of a book and just being dropped instead of being given an ending. Only now I have to wait for Book 3!  Goodreads page 

Where She Fell*, by Kaitlin Ward - Another Scholastic title. Teenaged girl falls into a hole in a swamp notorious for disappearances, finds that some of the previously vanished are alive and well (except for, muahaha, an odd little quirk of not really wanting to escape the way you'd expect they would...) and living in a network of underground caverns. Adventure ensues! Maybe not as thought-provoking as some of our YA stuff, but the underground world is interesting and creative and it made for a quick, fun subway read. Goodreads page

The Cider House Rules, by John Irving - I reread this old favorite after being horrified to discover that there's a far-right movement (including a relative of mine who's been elected to the Idaho legislature and so is in a position to try to push this through, that's how I learned about the thing) of fetal personhood bills being introduced here and there across the country, even in true-blue Washington State. Doubtless after a chance to challenge Roe v. Wade. 
Full rights for the fetus from the moment of conception, NO exceptions - the minute a woman becomes pregnant, she's just a walking incubator, regardless of her situation in life (unless she's well off enough to go to another state - they're not quite ready to put women under house arrest to stop them, although if you read the bills, you wonder if that might be under consideration). None gone through so far but there's a wave, I keep reading about another one here, another one there. Just makes me so, so sad. I turned to Irving's tale of decency, caring, courage, and sympathy for comfort. Excellent read always but especially in these times when so many in this country are pushing to force their beliefs on others without a thought to who gets hurt.  Goodreads page

The Hero 2 Doors Down*, and Child of the Dream: A Memorial of 1963* - both by Sharon Robinson. Speaking of things to read when you're not feeling so good about people - anything, I think, by Sharon Robinson will do. The first is a sweet middle-grade book telling the story of how a Brooklyn Dodgers-loving kid growing up in East Flatbush came to be lifelong friends with the one and only Jackie Robinson and family when the Robinsons first moved to Brooklyn and rented a house in East Flatbush (the home is still there, maybe sometime I'll go check it out). A true story with some details lightly fictionalized to move the story along, as explained in an afterword section. I grabbed the book for some Jackie-loving young relatives in Texas but had to preview it, of course. Enjoyed it so much that when I overheard a couple of editors discussing Sharon's next book I mentioned it and was rewarded with a practically hot off the presses Advanced Reader's Copy of Child of the Dream, which comes out in September. This one is Sharon's own recollections of what it was like to be a 13 year old member of a family playing an influential role in the Civil Rights movement. Amazing, I could hardly put it down. That went to Texas too. 

Part 2 titles - ARGH, sort of. I'd written up all of these and then through some accident of having an earlier version open in a window and saving that one, I lost 'em all. Not such a bad thing though, made for a VERY long post and I was thinking maybe it would be better broken into 2. Here were the rest of the March books with Goodreads links. Oh, btw, April 27th is Independent Bookstore Day, support your local independent bookseller! 


Other Islands of NYC
Because of the Rabbit*

*All titles marked with an asterisk are Scholastic publications. I'm a Scholastic employee but this is a personal blog and all opinions expressed here are mine alone.

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