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Two Book Tuesday

It has been notoriously difficult to get my hands on the books I really wanted to read this month. I’ve had a title requested at Barnes & Noble for nearly 4 weeks with no delivery date in sight, hunted down three books at local libraries only to have them checked out mere hours before my arrival, and just had pretty bad luck all around.

Once I finally found a handful of books to read, I sat myself down and started Bob by Wendy Moss.

Honestly, Bob feels like a story I might have read when I was a child. There is a sense of nostalgia and childlike wonder and belief in the imaginary that brought me back to my early years as a reader.

It was such fun remembering along with Livy and discovering where Bob came from.

The second title for Two Book Tuesday is Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat. It has been on my TBR for an absolute age and I’m going to read it, even if it kills me! (spoiler: it probably won’t)

I’ve heard that it’s about a prince who is betrayed by his brother and sent as a slave to serve the prince of another country with whom tensions are high.

It sounded interesting and it’s been suggested to me a number of times, so we’ll see what the verdict is once I get into it.

What do you think of these two books?
Do you think I’ll be captivated by Captive Prince?
Let me know in the comments!

blog · book review · review

Book Review | Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech

…Louie wondered how the absence of one person could take so much air out of the house.

I was really excited for this book and could hardly wait for its release date to read it! Sadly, I ended up having to wait a little while because someone got to the library’s copy before me, lol.

Saving Winslow is a somewhat short book about a little boy names Louie and Winslow, the LGD (Little Gray Donkey) foal he takes responsibility for when it doesn’t look like it isn’t going to survive.

While I wasn’t particularly drawn to Louie and Winslow, this book was absolutely filled with realistic attachments and feelings. From the “empty spaces” left behind by Louie’s big brother Gus who has joined the army to the pragmatism nearly every adult shows towards Winslow’s chances of survival.

My favorite character (sorry Winslow!) is Nora. Hands down. From her very first meeting with Winslow, you can tell that something isn’t right. She even mentions the little brother they had who was born 2 months early and didn’t survive. Later on, she suggests a leash and collar for Winslow and tells Louie that her family used to had a dog who died.

Nora has obviously been hurt by the loss of a baby brother and beloved pet and is terrified of getting too close to anyone/anything again for fear of the loss. Her actions, however, show a little girl that just wants to hang out with Louie and Winslow and not have to let them go.

Admittedly a cute book that ends with the potential return of Gus and Winslow’s departure to the farm to take up his mother’s role as LGD (Livestock Guardian Donkey) for Uncle Pete’s animals.

I do not believe that this book lives up to the claims from School Library Journal or Publishers Weekly to be a “standout tale” or “a convincing portrayal of human growth.” It was merely an ok book.

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Book Review | George by Alex Gino

Written by Alex Gino, George is the story of a child who is struggling in a world that doesn’t see her for who she is.  All they can see is a boy when George knows in every part of her that she is a girl.

Early on, we learn that George’s greatest wish this school year is to play Charlotte in the fourth grade production of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web.  She struggles against a teacher who believes that George’s audition is a joke, a classmate who is vicious and cruel, and a mother who doesn’t know what to do with a son who says he is a girl.

Throughout the story, George finds strength and encouragement in her best friend Kelly.  The daughter of a musician, Kelly takes the revelation that George is a girl quite well.  She still needs some time to think things through, but is ultimately both accepting and supportive of her friend going so far as to allow George to wear some of her clothes on a trip to the zoo and calling her Melissa, as George has requested.

Ultimately, George is able to take on the role of Charlotte, a performance that is surprisingly well-accepted by her peers and most of the school faculty.  A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment is when the Principal quietly lets George know that her door is always open if George should need someone to speak to.  Support like that is hard to find in the cis world and is nigh impossible to come across in the trans world.

While I could feel my heart breaking from the first moment that George has to hide in the bathroom with her girl magazines and the way she is subtly disgusted with her own body, this story has a happy ending that will leave readers with a sense of hope in the future.

One of the things I liked most about this story is that it is told from George’s point of view and George never once sees herself as a boy.  From the beginning of the book all the way to the last page, George is a girl.  Readers immediately understand that this is a girl who just happens to be in the body of a boy and, hopefully, will encourage tolerance and understanding in those who read this story.

This is a fairly short book, easy to read through in one sitting, and is perfectly relatable to the audience it was written for…  It is of note that George is the first book of its type to be written for middle grade readers.  It was an enjoyable read for me, as an adult, and was a great way to read about a child transgender character.  The author has written an amazing book that will appeal to reader’s of all ages, but one that is also accessible to children and that presents the transgender topic in a way that is easy to understand.

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Book Review | Sandman by William Joyce

I can’t believe that Mr. Joyce had to to end the fourth book in this series on cliffhanger!  I don’t know if I can take much more of this and will be waiting on the edge of my seat for book five to be released.

Truly, I enjoyed just about every page of The Sandman and the War of Dreams.  This book is so wonderful!  William Joyce is able to create perfect imagery in his writing, starting with Mr. Qwerty crying out the words of Katherine’s stories to Sanderson Mansnoozie discovering Nightlight’s past to the overarching story of the battle with Pitch.  I was entranced by every word!

Have I mentioned yet how absolutely enamored I am with Nightlight?  I am dying to learn more about this boy who has never slept and where his story will go in future books… Perhaps, he will get his own book in the series?

I think the only thing that disappointed me in this book is Pitch’s fate.  In the deepest part of my heart, I long for there to be a redemption arc for this character.  I want for him and his daughter to reconcile and finally be allowed to have their happily ever after together.  Sadly, I do not think that this will happen.

Sometimes, in stories, not everyone gets to have a happy ending.  No matter how much we wish it were otherwise.