Thursday, February 11, 2010

Where I then make up for my lack of "Reviewyness"

A bunch of short reviews squeezed into one post. Enjoy!

Pop by Gordon Korman

Marcus moves to a new town and tries out for the football team. They have just had a perfect season and don’t want anyone new on their team to change their dynamic. So Marcus trains with some dude he meets in the park. He gets even better than he was before. Football drama ensues! This was a solid football book.

We all know about how hard football is on a player’s body, but I was only sort of aware of the damage it does to player’s brains (and only because I know how hard boxing is on a boxer’s ‘noggin). It was an enjoyable read and is on this year’s Lone Star List.

Blessing’s Bead by Debby Dahl Edwardson

An intergenerational tale set in Alaska about an Inupiaq family. We first meet Nutaaq and her sister Aaluk. Sisters who attend an annual trade fair that will change their lives forever. Fast forward three generations and we meet another Nutaaq (the great-grandaughter) and follow her on her journey of self-discovery. This one was a bit of a sleeper from 2009, which was too bad because it was a really beautiful story. It is sort of wedged right into the older J younger Y so maybe that is why it got looked over.

A final note is that in Canada, the word Eskimo is considered an insult – instead people self-identify as Inuit. It always strikes me how different the U.S.A and Canada really are. For instance, you would never call someone Indian in Canada – you would say they are First Nation. That really is neither here nor there, just something I noticed while reading.

Dawn by Kevin Brooks

I don’t have much to say other than the use of The Jesus and the Mary Chain lyrics did not work for me. The conclusion didn’t either. I liked the intrigue with the two girls befriending Dawn, but most of the book fell flat. Disappointing since I am such a huge Kevin Brooks fan.

An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank by Elaine Marie Alphin

This book was hard to read because it is so disturbing what happened to this man. It was such a miscarriage of justice, such a disgusting and base display of the ugliness of mankind. Leo Frank was Jewish man that was convicted of the rape and murder of a 13 year old girl in 1913. He was innocent. This didn’t stop a mob from gathering outside the courthouse and it didn’t stop his murder by lynching two years later (he was kidnapped from the prison). Frank’s court case and subsequent lynching was a seminal moment in American history leading to both the creation of the Anti-Defamation League as well as the re-emergence of the KKK. This is a really strong, well-written non-fiction title. I highly recommend it.

Book Sources in order: Library Copy, Borrowed Copy,
Library Copy, Publisher Review Copy


Lenore said...

I was really looking forward to Dawn too...hmmm.

Patti said...

It is a super quick read. And there are moments of classic Brooks in there. Just on a whole I didn't like it. I think it got some solid reviews in the professional journals, so it might just be a personal taste thing (and really what thing isn't).