News: An overview of upcoming posts!


This term, instead of taking YA Materials (that term, and therefore that class, is over), I’m taking Reader’s Advisory and Materials for Older Children. As part of my Materials for Older Children class, I have to read two books per week and e-mail the prof with a short, 2-3 line response to each book (to prove I’ve read them, I suppose?). So far I’ve read a few absolutely fantastic books, and one dud (mostly because I hadn’t been aware that it was a sequel until I started the book, and then it took me long enough to get what was going on that I had lost any fascination with the book that I’d started with). I’ll be posting my (short) responses to the books, plus a reading map (hosted on a separate blog) to this blog, as I am hoping that I’ll be able to sustain this blog.

See you soon!


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian


Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian COverI liked the sheer honesty of Alexie’s writing. Arnold Spirit (Junior) is in for a bad year, a year that starts when he decides to switch from his reservation’s high school to the all-white high school in the nearby town, a move that means that he has taken a step towards a future off rez. To the rez, he becomes a traitor. To the white high school, he’s the odd man out.  Continue reading



Ash Cover

This was exactly the fairytale I wanted. I had never read Ash before, but after finishing Sabriel, this was the perfect follow-up. Lo’s prose makes the story seem like a dream; unlike other books, it is difficult to predict what might happen next because the entire experience feels like floating on a river, going wherever the current takes you.  Continue reading

The Catcher in the Rye


My high school didn’t subscribe to many of the tried-and-true classic staples of literature. I read Steinbeck–after an hour long lecture about the symbology of a turtle crossing the road, I decided that I would never voluntarily pick up another one of his novels. I read Ordinary People, and couldn’t relate to the depressed kid at the center of that novel.

So when I saw that The Catcher in the Rye was on the reading list for this year’s YA Materials list, I was cautiously, tentatively, curious. I went out to the nearest used bookstore and picked up my copy.

The Catcher in the Rye, Little Brown Books Edition

The Catcher in the Rye, Little Brown Books Edition. It is very, very white.

The copy I got had a simple white cover. The back cover was even simpler and whiter–there was the ISBN and the barcode. That was it. No synopsis. Continue reading

Internet Reader’s Advisory: Smithsonian Magazine


Internet Reader’s Advisory: Smithsonian Magazine

Smithsonian Magazine is a magnificent timesink. Since the magazine has hundreds, even thousands of archived articles, it’s an easy way to spend a few (dozen) hours learning something from an institution of good repute. Like the museums themselves, the magazine covers a wide variety of topics, from plain-language science articles that even I can understand, to great articles about history and archeology (which is where I always end up). There’s even a section with travel advice! As a venerable institution, the Smithsonian lives up to its reputation, and this online magazine is a great way to experience the best of it.

Plus, it’s free, which is always a plus for me!