Books read in February 2016

The results are in from my first month working for the private sector:  11 books read.  That seems like a lower number than usual, but I’m not actually going to check.  This month I only read one book that was not for librarian book group.  And I read no “grownup” books at all.


Picture:  Swap!
Middle Grade:  Pax (and not just because it was the only one)
YA:  They were all really good in different ways.  If I have to choose one I’ll go with The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B.

picture books

Into the Snow
Read for Librarian Book Group
The illustrations felt like being in the middle of a snow storm.  This also meant that sometimes they weren’t very clear.

Be a Friend
Salina Yoon
Read for Librarian Book Group
I love mimes.  And so I loved this book.  One might take it as mime propaganda–get the kids while they are young!

Surf’s up!
Read for Librarian Book Group
Fun little tale of the terrible choice between surfing and reading.

Steve Light
Read for Librarian Book Group
Very fun story of swapping items for other items and eventually getting what you need.  The illustrations were grand and this book could possibly double as a coloring book for those with good fine motor skills.

middle grade

Sara Pennypacker
Read for Librarian Book Group
Really great middle reader about a boy and the fox he rescued.  For the first half of the book I kept trying to place the story in space and time.  War was coming, and I couldn’t really figure out how that fit into the map of the real world.  I eventually gave up on this quest and just slotted this into the kind-of-present-kind-of-future space.

young adult

Wonders of the Invisible World
Christopher Barzak
Read for librarian book group.
Manages to combine a solid love story with weird “seeing” elements.  Like us, the main character has no idea what is going on until the best friend he can’t remember moves back to town after five years.  Trying to puzzle things out kept me turning pages.

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
Teresa Toten
Read for librarian book group
A story of a boy with OCD, and his first love, Robyn.  This story also includes the kids in his OCD therapy group, his counslor, his mother, father, stepmother and brother. There’s a lot to juggle here and Toten manages to keep track of everyone.

I particularly enjoyed the rich characterization.  The many players are memorable and well developed.  Unfortunately for me, reading about OCD was a slog–I spent the book tense and uncomfortable.  Which means I think Toten did a great job accurately capturing the super bummer it must be to live with OCD.  By the end I was glad I had read, but in the middle it was hard to keep going.  I recommend this, because it’s good, but that doesn’t also mean it is an easy read.

Salt to the Sea
Ruta Septys
Read for Librarian Book Group
People who read Between Shades of Gray will particularly enjoy this WWII-era novel.  Told from four different perspectives, it details the end-of-war fleeing of people toward the Baltic Sea.  It’s a thick book and a quick read.

We Are the Ants
Shaun David Hutchinson
Read for Librarian Book Group
In Dennis Lehane’s book The Given Day, there is a marvelous bit of writing where a character is pushed off the roof and falls to his death.  The author manages to play out this scene clearly and cleanly without once using the words “push” or “fall”.

So it is with this book about depression and bullying, which manages to weave an engaging tale for 455 pages, while rarely mentioning depression or bullying.

Open Road Summer
Emery Lord
Regan O’Neil–a rebel on the reform path–escapes her normal life for a summer on tour with her Taylor Swift-like best friend.  I was constantly confused by the fact that this rebel wore heels and makeup, but perhaps southern rebellion looks different than western rebellion.  Contains good stuff about friends, fame and finding out who you are when you aren’t a bad girl anymore.

Young nonficiton

I Hear a Pickle
Rachel Isadora
Read for Librarian Book Group
Oh good grief, this book seemed like it took forever to read.  The repetitive structure had me bored by the time we got to the examination of the second sense.  I was positively silently screaming by the fourth one.  Cute illustrations though.

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