I’m in a quandary. Do I read new books that no one has discussed so that I may register my humble opinion? Or do I read the books that everyone else is suggesting so that I may benefit from their experience?
Or do I read the books that everyone else is suggesting and yet register my humble opinion? There we go.
I read Gossamer, by Lois Lowry, after Fuse #8’s glowing review, and was determined to add my own voice to the discussion. But apparently not before Blog From the Windowsill decided to look at this book today. And The New York Times. I need to work faster. Anyhow, I also loved the book. Lowry combines the very real (the abuse and subsequent foster care of an angry young boy) and the unreal (the tiny little dream-givers and the horrid nightmare-givers) in an excellent read. I especially love how the foster mom never appears shocked at the boy’s angry statements. What an oasis of calm.
Fuse #8 also pointed me toward Weedflower, by Cynthia Kadohata, and with her good review gave me permission to read it. I did not like Kira-Kira and wasn’t sure whether to start this new book, but I trusted Fuse #8’s tag line (“If you hated Kira-Kira, you’ll LOVE Weedflower!”). It was a wonderful book showing how Sumiko and her family lived at an internment camp during World War II. Using a camp set on an Indian reservation was a great choice for the author, allowing the reader to see not just the mistreatment of the Japanese at this time, but of the Native Americans as well. A book well worth your time.
Some kids’ lit blogger reviewed Rules, by Cynthia Lord; I just don’t know who. If you would like to make yourself known in the comments section, be my guest. I was won over when I saw the cover with a rubber duck floating above a goldfish. It seems that Catherine’s brother David likes to put toys in the fish tank, even though Catherine has made it one of his rules to keep toys out of the fish tank. David is autistic and making rules for him makes things easier for Catherine. Their relationship is well developed, and I felt like I was getting a real look at this condition from an author who knows (one of her two children is autistic). This is a great and sensitive read.