Ten writers for children. All with something to say.
What I've Read, What I'm Reading, and What I'm Going to Read
The last book I read was MOON OVER MANIFEST by Clare Vanderpool, this year's Newbery winner. I don't always agree with the Newbery committee, but I liked this one a lot. Set during the Depression, it tells the story of 12-year-old Abiline Tucker whose father sends her away to his hometown of Manifest, Kansas for the summer. As she tries to piece together her father's childhood, she discovers secrets about the town's past and its residents. The interwoven stories of the various characters were intriguing and I was happy to return to this book each evening.
The book that I'm reading now is Anne Ylvisaker's THE LUCK OF THE BUTTONS, another historical fiction novel set in the Midwest at about the same time as MOON OVER MANIFEST. I am just easing my way into the novel, but I'm already captivated by the narrator, Tugs Button, a girl born into a hard luck family. Tugs, a sympathetic and believable character, reminds me of children I've known who try hard to make friends, but just fall short of the social graces needed to make things work out. I'm rooting hard for Tugs, and I hope in the end she'll succeed in overcoming her family's history of misfortunes. Funny, fast-moving, and touching, I'm enjoying this one a lot.
And next on my to-read list: the middle grade novel OKAY FOR NOW by Gary Schmidt. I don't know a lot about this book, other than it's by the author of THE WEDNESDAY WARS, which is one of my all-time favorites (a book that made me laugh out loud as well as cry, which doesn't happen very often). It's also been recommended to me by people I respect, so I'm happy to have it waiting for me. The fact that I broke down and actually bought the book (rather than waited for it at the library) shows how highly I think of Gary Schmidt as an author.