Thursday, November 6, 2014

3 Books for the Young and Old (but not too young...)

Ruins, Dan Wells
I thought the previous books in this series (Partials and Fragments) were fair pieces of speculative fiction, and the final installment is on par. And like the preceding pair, things get more colourful about midway through.  Also more grisly...and sadly, I was more invested for it.  Some other notes:
  • Marcus still isn't funny. 
  • It surprised me a few times.
  • I think it was a brave undertaking, in terms of concept.
  • It is clean and tasteful.
  • It has a great wrap-up.
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
I'd been told I would love Neil Gaiman a number of times -- since I like well-written darkness (not horror or the disturbing, darkness).  And Neil Gaiman delivers darkness without going too deeply into those other two;
  • While The Graveyard Book is often tagged as children's literature, I wouldn't recommend it for very young readers.  Yes, a lot of the graveyard content is playful, there is some other, not-at-the-graveyard content, that is freaky.  This may very well be precisely what your 9-year-old needs, but you can do the recommending. /wink
  • The writing and story are unique and confident.
  • There is some very strong, memorable imagery.
  • My favourite thing about this book?  How it all comes together.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Kate DiCamillo
This one is safely suited for younger readers, and would serve as a great read-aloud...but it is also absurdly delightful as an adult reading it solo. 
  • I found it very funny.
  • I suspected the ending early on, and was pleased to have my expectation met, rather than disappointed -- what an art, that is to achieve! 
  • It is a lovely story!
  • It is short -- pick it up and read it all one evening; be delighted too.
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