The Giver

Author: Lois Lowry Type: Fiction, novel Published: 1993 I read it: February 2018 (re-read) What’s remarkable about the giver, at least to today’s reader, is how it starts with such a slow burn. Sure, the opening line mentions the protagonist, Jonas, being frightened. He is recalling a plane flying overhead and the unknown reasons for…

Matilda

Author: Roald Dahl Artist: Quentin Blake Type: Fiction, novel Published: 1988 I read it: February 2018 Man, Roald Dahl really hates adults. Or at least, he hates the fact that incompetent, buffoonish, and downright mean ones exist. And he really hates that they are allowed to have any interaction with children whatsoever. The titular character…

A Wrinkle in Time

Author: Madeleine L’Engle Type: Fiction, novel Part of series: Time Quintet (#1) Published: 1962 I read it: January 2018 (re-read) At the mall in my hometown when I was a kid (back when malls hardly ever displayed an empty storefront), there was a Waldenbooks. This small spot was the first proper bookstore I knew, and…

Dear Cyborgs

Author: Eugene Lim Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2017 I read it: February 2018 Sometimes you have to take a chance while browsing at the library, and the title, cover, and slim length of this book made it worth a shot. Was it worth it overall though? Lim’s novel starts out with two Asian-American boys bonding…

Roverandom

Author: J.R.R Tolkien Type: Fiction, novel Published: 1998 (posthumous) I read it: February 2018 A decade or so before The Hobbit was published, J.R.R. Tolkien took his family on a seaside vacation. There one of his sons lost a small toy dog and was devastated. To pass the time and give consolation, the great storyteller…

The Exo Project

Author: Andrew DeYoung Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2017 I read it: February 2018 When writing YA, the key ingredient is having respect for the “adult” in “young adult.” The opening pages of The Exo Project show that the author has his audience clearly in mind and is unafraid to speak at their level. The protagonist,…

Necessary Monsters

Author: Richard A. Kirk Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2017 I read it: January 2018 You know what’s awesome? Libraries. You know what library system in particular is extra awesome? The Des Moines Public Library. Sure, at our local branch they provide Legos on Fridays so I can take my son there every week after picking…