Showing posts from August, 2008

Castle Blair by Flora L. Shaw

Written at the urging of John Ruskin, recommended as exemplary fiction for children by Minerva Sanders in her 1890 Reading of the Young report because it depicted real children, Shaw's book is an interesting puzzle to me. It certainly fits the idea that approved children's fiction was written from any perspective but that of lower-class children. These children are the heirs and heiresses to an Irish estate. They also have little inherent moral sense, especially the eldest boy, Murtagh, whose temper almost causes him to have the estate manager killed by one of his non-wealthy friends. The poor children are there for the amusement of the rich children. They even tell Teresa at one point. Murtagh declares that they will "protect" her, and his sister Winnie agrees, saying: "Why, ye live on our land, don't you? So we're bound to protect you even if we didn't want to." (p. 55) I'll be thinking about this one for awhile... there could be


You Are a Question Mark You seek knowledge and insight in every form possible. You love learning. And while you know a lot, you don't act like a know it all. You're open to learning you're wrong. You ask a lot of questions, collect a lot of data, and always dig deep to find out more. You're naturally curious and inquisitive. You jump to ask a question when the opportunity arises. Your friends see you as interesting, insightful, and thought provoking. (But they're not always up for the intense inquisitions that you love!) You excel in: Higher education You get along best with: The Comma What Punctuation Mark Are You?

Ah, Goodreads has it figured out!

They let me blog my reviews with a quick copy-and-paste: Playing with Matches by Brian Katcher My review rating: 4 of 5 stars High school is actually like this... Leon is kind of a geek, and he's attracted to a girl (especially attracted to her shapely butt) who has massive facial burns. But then a "regulation hottie" (please watch Mean Girls if this doesn't register) shows interest in him, and he does the wrong thing. He ditches facial-burns Melody, then gets dragged around by hottie Amy until he realizes he really loved Melody. He tries to get her back, and she flatly refuses. The ending is ambiguous, but Leon may have a shot again. Good read, and new as of July 2008. Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst My review rating: 2 of 5 stars Durst's first, Into the Wild, is much better. This time, the fairy-tale "wild" takes over the world, and Julie Marchen (daughter of Rapunzel who escaped) has to save the world from the wild. It's a

What will Goodreads mean...

What does it mean to keep a reading blog when you're also on Goodreads? I'm still convinced that these notes to my self are extremely helpful, and I am also aware that some at-home viewers may benefit from seeing my beyond-the-classroom reading habits and thoughts. They may function in complementary ways. For instance, I'm sitting here with a pile of 10 books that I've read, and they aren't all worth a big review. Twain's The Prince and the Pauper, for example, was a fine read but I don't really need to blog it, since it's out there all over the place. Newer things, though, I almost feel I should blog, but then again not all of them seem worth the effort. Making this commitment to track my reading with a blog has been most valuable, and I've really held to it for a long time now. At the same time that I want to see what my friends are reading, I also know that Goodreads will dilute my focus on children's/young adult books in favor of adult

Laughing out loud...

I'm reading Lucky by Rachel Vail, and just came across this line: "[S]he'd been obsessed with the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which I couldn't get through at all; it just seemed like long stretches of weather punctuated by Pa making another chair." (p. 153) Weather... another chair! Do not misunderstand, I loved these books myself, but that is a priceless perspective. Weather. Another chair.