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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: 'Counting by 7s'

©2013 All Rights Reserved CompuServe Book Reviews

COUNTING BY 7s
By Holly Goldberg Sloan
Middle grade contemporary realistic fiction
August 2013
Dial Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780803738553

Willow Chance is a quirky genius of a 12-year-old whose adopted parents know how to nurture her talents and interests. They die in a car crash at the start of this novel. Willow doesn't have any other family.

What she does have are two teens she met when sent to a school counselor (her teacher didn't believe she could ace the standardized tests so quickly so must be cheating somehow), their Vietnamese mother, the inept counselor himself and a taxi driver.

Willow's voice works in the sections where she describes the world through her own perspective, because the author is talented enough to show us both Willow's perspective and the way other people would see what is happening.

But the novel doesn't work as well as a story for younger people, because the most interesting characters are the adults. They're the ones who grow and change under Willow's influence. Looking at the novel as a reader, it was enjoyable enough. But looking at the novel as a middle school librarian, it would be difficult to justify spending money in these days of vastly reduced budgets on a book that adults would like more than students.

©2013 All Rights Reserved CompuServe Book Reviews and reprinted with permission

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Sentence: Wilkie Collins

As inspired by Fobbit author David Abrams at The Quivering Pen, the best sentence(s) I've read this week, presented without further commentary:

It only remains to be added, that 'the person chiefly concerned' in Miss Clack's narrative, is happy enough at the present moment, not only to brave the smartest exercise of Miss Clack's pen, but even to recognize its unquestionable value as an instrument for the exhibition of Miss Clack's character.


-- Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Sentence: David Gilbert

Inspired by Fobbit author David Abrams at The Quivering Pen, and presented without commentary or context, the best sentence(s) I read in the past week:

How much of experience is merely filling in the blanks from earlier experience.


-- David Gilbert, & Sons

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Sentence: Alice Munro

As inspired by Fobbit author David Abrams at The Quivering Pen, the best sentence(s) I read in the past week, presented without further commentary or context:

And as they sped along she was able to see not much trace at all of the recent past -- no big puddles in the fields, showing where the seed had washed out, no miserable spindly cornstalks
or lodged grain.

-- Runaway by Alice Munro, from the collection of the same name

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Sentence: Eowyn Ivey

As inspired by Fobbit author David Abrams of The Quivering Pen, the best sentence(s) I read this week, presented without commentary or context:

She picked up the book and held it closer to her eyes. The next illustration had always been her favorite. In a snowy clearing, the girl stood surrounded by the wild beasts of the forest -- bears, wolves, hares, ermines, a stag, a red fox, even a tiny mouse. The animals sat on their haunches beside her, their demeanors neither menacing nor adoring. It was as if they had posed for a portrait, with their fur and teeth and claws and yellow eyes, and the little girl gazed plainly out at the reader without fear or pleasure. Did they love the little girl, or did they want to eat her?

-- Eowyn Ivey, The Snow Child