Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “Newberry Award”

The Scruffy Rube’s #CBR4 Review Supplement (#s 27-43)

In all of my reading and writing it would be easy to say that I’m thinking too much about books that are meant to be little dollops of entertainment. That may well be true, books may just be meant as minor diversions for over-stimulated minds. But through the past year I realized how the various reading role models I have had in my life taught me how to read, how to love reading and how to use reading to think.

So, after I finished my half-cannonball back in August I kept right on reading and thinking. Balancing all that work with the job I’m paid to do was a little difficult and I only just finished reviews for all of the books read in that span. Rather than reprinting some or all of those reviews here, I wanted to give any readers of this site access to my other site where they can read the complete reviews of various books that might interest you. (If you or someone you know–particularly an administrator–believe this is in someway a misuse of the Cannonball Read site, I sincerely apologize and will remove it ASAP.) Take a look, click around and see what you think of everything else I managed to read this year.

All reviews (plus other older reviews and fancy blog style shenanigans at The Scruffy Rube

Post 1 Book Club Books:

#27–The Unbearable Bookclub for Unsinkable Girls, by Julie Shumacher (2 stars)

#28–Frozen by Mary Casanova (3 stars)

#29–Matched by Allie Condie (2 stars)

#29.5–The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind  by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer (illustrations by Elizabeth Zunon) (2 stars)

#30–A Strange Place to Call Home by Marilyn Singer (illustrations by Ed Young) (4 stars)

Post 2: Mock Caldecott Award Candidates

#30.25–Oh No, by Candace Flemming (illustrations by Eric Rohman) (4 stars)

#30.5–Words Set me Free, by Lisa Cline-Ransome (illustrations by James E. Ransome) (4 stars)

#30.75–House Held up By Trees, by Ted Koosner (illustrations by Jon Klassen) (2 stars)

#31–Extra Yarn, by Mac Bennett (illustrations by Jon Klassen) (5 stars)

Post 3: Mock Newberry Award Candidates

#32–Mighty Miss Malone, by Christopher Paul Curtis (3 stars)

#33–Glory Be, by Augusta Scattergood (1 star)

#34–The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate (4 stars)

#35–Wonder, by RJ Palacio (5 stars)

Post 4: Mock Printz Award Candidates

#36–Never Fall Down, by Patricia McCormick (4 stars)

#37–Code Name: Verity, by Elizabeth Fein (1 star)

#38–Year of the Beasts, by Cecil Castelluci (art by Nate Powell) (5 stars)

#39–Every Day, by David Levithan (4 stars)

Post 5: Books with lessons of the year

#40–Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro (5 stars)

#41–Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor (5 stars)

#42–A Room with a View, by E.M. Forster (5 stars)

#43–Cinder, by Marissa Meyer (5 stars)

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Idgiepug’s #CBR4 Review #18: Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins

One of the best things about having a kid is that I can browse the kid’s section of the library without feeling skeevy.  As we stocked up on books for our spring break trip, the little pug and I looked over the Newberry Award shelves for something for both of us.  He wasn’t really into anything offered there (sadly), but I picked up Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins.  It’s a lovely book about being and becoming a teenager, but I wonder about how it would rate with a “real” kid.

The story follows a group of kids who live in the same neighborhood and have grown up together, but who are becoming teenagers and moving in different directions now.  It captures the bittersweet nature of that point in your life when you begin to realize who you are going to be and have to decide how, if at all, your childhood friends will fit into your adult world.  The novel opens with Debbie, a young teenager, who wishes that something, anything, will happen to her.  Of course, things do begin happening, mostly various awkward encounters with boys and a relationship with an elderly neighbor.  The novel is well-written and contains cute bits of artwork by the author.  I wonder, though, if it resonates more with adults who are looking back on this time of their lives with nostalgia than it does with kids who are actually in the midst of the process.  The novel has a distinctly 70s feel; the girls work on getting their mothers to buy them bell-bottom pants, and all the kids gather in and around one boy’s pick-up truck to listen to a radio program at night.  I can’t imagine modern kids can relate to that.

The novel is sweet and well-written, and I found it very relatable.  I don’t have a lot of experience with the targeted audience for this novel, though, and I wonder how much they’d “get” the book.

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