Amulet Series (paperback)
by Kazu Kibuishi
Amulet is about a girl named Emily who discovers a mysterious secret about herself and her grandfather when her mom and brother are kidnapped by a mysterious creature. She sets out to save them and discovers a world she’s never imagined.
What I liked about this series is how incredibly engaging it is for my students. They love it, and can’t get enough of it. I respect that. Any series that gets my students to read is golden in my book. I preordered the most recent book and there were fights over who got it next.
What I didn’t like about this series… It’s not that I didn’t like it. I can see the merit behind it, the skill and natural talent for storytelling and imagination the author has, and why is is so acclaimed. It just wasn’t for me. It’s like so many singers out there. They have awesome voices and amazing skill, but I just don’t care for their music. This is a wonderful series for basically everyone out there, and I am looking forward to seeing how the series will end in book 9, but I am not holding my breath or fangirling over it.
Book 92 of 2018 (#1)
Book 93 of 2018 (#2)
Book 95 of 2018 (#3)
Book 96 of 2018 (#4)
Book 97 of 2018 (#5)
Book 98 of 2018 (#6)
Book 99 of 2018 (#7)
Book 100 of 2018 (#8)
100 books in 2018! I met my goal! Hooray! And yes, in the final 2 hours of 2018, because I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t a procrastinator.
The Best Man (audiobook)
by Richard Peck
I really enjoyed The Best Man! Richard Peck was one of my favorite authors when I was in fifth and sixth grade. I can’t say I remember all of the books I read by him, but I do remember being taken by his characters and the predicaments they found themselves in. One was about some kids who lived in an old house in the city, and there was an elevator that would take them through time and they had to rescue a ghost in the house. It was called Voices After Midnight. I’m sure there were others that I loved by him, because I remember picking up his ghost stories because I loved them so much.
This story is about a boy named Archer who is in fifth and sixth grade (it takes place over a little over a year). He has a best friend named Lynette, who has a bold personality, and they a live in a suburb where everyone seems to be familiar with each other. Archer and Lynette met at a wedding as small kids, and their friendship continues through a second wedding at the end of the book. Most of the story is navigating the tricky middle school period where people are changing physically and socially, there are bullies to face and teachers to misunderstand. Archer is an average kid who loves his family, especially his uncle, who he later finds out is gay. Archer is particularly unobservant, and is the last to realize it.
What I liked about this book is the humor and wit it teaches young readers. It is hard to find middle grade literature that is so cleverly written that it will engage adult readers enough to make them giggle, but Richard Peck was an expert in his field, and I definitely found myself laughing out loud as I listened to the story while walking the dog or driving to work. I also appreciate the way Archer’s uncle was written. Him being gay is a total nonissue throughout the story, as it should be in life. It isn’t a plot point- it’s just part of the plot. There is no homophobia, just disappointment that his partner is gay and not available to his many female fans.
What I didn’t like about this book was that I wanted Hilary to be a fake. He’s so snooty, I figured he was lying about everything, but I guess Peck wanted him to be a real person. Looking for something not to like is a real stretch, because it is a really cute story that will keep readers going from beginning to end.