Monday, March 14, 2016

The Bread Winner

By Arvella Whitmore

A beautiful story about a girl who moves from her farm to a town during the depression. Times are hard - really hard - and she has to deal with many changes in her life. Thankfully, she can bake prize-winning bread. [YA/138pp.]

Link to book

The Itch

By Benilde Little

Though the story was somewhat interesting, especially the focus group of the book (successful African Americans), and the premise of growth and development for the protagonist was satisfying, I found the writing quite lacking. First, there's a lot of point of views - almost every paragraph has a different person's perspective. Even though it mostly works and the transitions are fairly clear, it was something that kept bickering in the back of my mind as I read it. In addition, there was an abundance of cliches. Perhaps these issues would have gone unnoticed had I not taken writing classes. [286 pp.]

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The Fat Girl

By Marilyn Sachs

This is a very interesting and well-written story about a boy who is at first disgusted by a fat girl in his ceramics class, but then he ends up gaining certain control over her, and discovers that he really likes his newly-found power, especially since in his own family he does not feel like he has much control over anything. [YA/226 pp.]

Link to book

The Wednesday Wars

By Gary D. Schmidt

The author of this book gave a really inspiring talk at the NYC SCBWI meeting, and so I was looking forward to read his books. This one did not disappoint. Although there were a couple of issues in the beginning where I did not buy certain claims (something to do with cream puffs [yum!]), these issues were gone by the time I got about half way through. It is about a boy whose Wednesday afternoons comprise of his staying alone in the classroom with a teacher who is forced to stay with him. He is convinced that she hates him for this reason, but throughout the book he discovers a few things about himself. [YA/264 pp.]

Link to book