Friday, April 20, 2012

Mock Printz-ing it up

We are well into our reading for potential Mock Printz titles. Here are three of the titles that we're considering that I've recently finished, in very brief :

The Miseducation of Cameron Post - Emily M. Danforth

I feel like there is a lot of buzz about this one that I've sort of skimmed over. I think it was a really strong piece of writing that took a long time to get to the best part. It is set in the 90s and the main character would actually have been the exact age I was (which was sort of neat). I felt like it took a long time with Cameron's journey. The real strength of the book is the part of the plot where Cameron is sent to a boarding school to get "de-gayed." I know these places exist, but I have never read a YA book that deals with them. The author really shines during the last third and writes with an amazingly level of empathy for everyone involved, while clearly showing how devastating such places are. I wish that we had gotten to explore that more. I think the book would have been stronger for it. 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Saenz

Another book dealing with gay teens, this one also written beautifully and with an amazing level of empathy and set in El Paso. The parents in this book are really great in that they are good supportive parents, although not without flaws. It is also set in the 90s (i don't have a copy in front of me, but it was set in the recent past i do remember that). This one I questioned more about the dates because I wasn't sure why it was set then. It was another quiet journey of self-discovery. I knew this one was going to make me cry before I picked it up, and it did - but not as much as I had feared. 

After the Snow - S. D. Crockett

The thing I've seen most in reviews of this title is the comparison of Willo's voice in this title to the girl's voice in Blood Red Road. I can see that comparison. I see the similarities for sure. I don't think the vernacular is as strong here, especially since it is only Willo who seems to talk this way. I also don't know why language would have changed so much in only one generation. Or why Willow seems to have a totem animal that talks to him other than he is wicked isolated. Or why after only 20 some odd years the entire system would have fallen apart to such extremes. I don't know - something about the timeline really bothered me. I think it got a ton of starred reviews, but I didn't think it stood out that much for me.

Book Source = Library Copies

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