Books Read in October 2015

If you are only going to read one of my recommended books, go for Steve Sheinkin’s Most Dangerous as it is everything that good nonfiction should be.  If you are going to read two of my recommended books, add Hired Girl to your list. I loved it!


Picture books: Red. A Crayon’s Story
Middle Grade: Orbiting Jupiter (and not just because it was the only middle grade I read).
Young Adult:  The Hired Girl
Young Nonfiction: Most Dangerous

picture books


That’s (Not) Mine
Anna King
Read for Librarian Book Group
A fight over a chair in picture book form.  Had I not spent my childhood in multiple iterations of this struggle,  I probably would have enjoyed this more.

Red. A Crayon’s Story
Michael Hall
Read for Librarian Book Group
Enjoyable.  It was fun to go back and see if the different colored crayons had different personalities.
This month I also read X: A Novel and the main character was called Red.  Crossover appeal? 🙂

Fright Club
Ethan Long
Read for Librarian Book Group
Who are the really frightening monsters?  I work in a school, I already know the answer.

middle grade

Orbiting Jupiter
Gary D. Schmidt
Read for Librarian Book Group
This book was written with the clarity of a cold New England morning.  I could feel the landscape around me and the unfairness ricocheted through me.  Short, poignant story of a boy with a second chance. I adored nine-tenths of this book.  I begrudgingly accept the author’s choice for the last tenth.

young adult

Infinite Inbetween
Carolyn Mackler
Read for Librarian Book Group
It’s kind of a massive undertaking to follow five characters through four years of high school.  Hats off to Ms. Mackler for trying and for creating five such different characters.  However, the result for me was a story a mile wide and an inch deep.  I wanted to really dig into some part of this narrative, and everything felt very surface.

I Crawl Through It
A.S. King
Read for Librarian Book Group
I’m the last in line for surrealist anything, so this book was not made for me.  I was not patient while I worked my way through it.  I wanted things to be clearer (as in not-surrealist).  For people who are into surrealism, this is a well-written book.

The Walls Around Us
Nova Ren Suma
Read for Mock Printz
What do a Julliard-bound ballet dancer and a convicted teenage murderer have in common?  This book starts big, with a strange happenstance at a maximum security prison for adolescent girls.  Then it keeps building.  There were confusing moments of “what the heck?” followed by sudden understanding.  I was gleefully delighted by the time the end came around.

Honor Girl
Maggie Thrash
Read for Librarian Book Group
The usual caveats about graphic novels not being my thing apply.  The story itself was good, but I found I had trouble identifying characters based on how they were drawn.  I feel like I read a ton of YA books set at summer camp when I was a YA, so it was fun to return to the (East Coast*) summer camp setting.

*Us kids in the west only went to summer camp for a week at a time, if we went at all.

The Hired Girl
Laura Amy Schultz
Read for Librarian Book Group
O! But I loved this book!  I loved it the way I loved The Little Princess,  for the tragic plot and plucky heroine.  I loved the diary format the way I loved that YA book written in diary format with the boy who got lockjaw and died.  I loved the many obstacles the hired girl managed to get through.  I loved that I couldn’t stop reading it.  This is my kind of book.  Also, reading it, I felt like I should be putting a lot more effort into cleaning my house.

Young nonficiton

Most Dangerous
Steve Sheinkin
Read for Librarian Book Group
I was a history major in college, primarily because I love the stories.  As an adult, I don’t read nonfiction books about history mostly because they are 1)too long and 2)incredibly dry.  Enter Steve Sheinkin and the YA nonfiction history book.  Man, this guy can make history come alive and manages to do so in less than 400 pages.

2 thoughts on “Books Read in October 2015”

  1. Who did you spend your childhood fighting over a chair with? Your brother? Also, I wonder if you’ve tried any adult narrative non-fiction. Very en vogue these days and much easier to read than non-fiction of yore. I agree about length, though. I’m currently reading an excellent book about double agents during WWII. It’s nearly 400 pages long!

    1. Yes, my brother and I fought over everything. It was so much a part of my childhood that I couldn’t comprehend people who didn’t fight with their siblings.

      I think I have not actually read any adult narrative nonfiction. Do you have any recommendations?

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