Best of the Best Challenge: Week 3 Update

I made better progress this week than I expected. I read three more books and finished listening to a fourth. This was my first audio book, chosen from the Odyssey Award list. Two of the three books came from new categories, a Morris Award nominee and a title from the Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list.  So I am well on my way to my personal goal of at least one book from each list.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
In 1941, the Soviet Secret police rounded up and deported thousands of people from the Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. This is the story of one 15-year-old Lithuanian girl and her family. Lina’s father is arrested and separated from the others while Lina, her mother, and her brother are deported to Siberia. An aspiring artist, she documents their experiences in drawings, hoping to use her art to let her father know they are alive.

Wow, what a powerful book! I’m not sure that any imagined horror can top that which humans are capable of inflicting on each other. In that respect, this work of historical fiction is also horror. But it is also a tribute to the triumph of the human spirit. In the face of unimaginable danger and hardship, Lina holds on to her faith that she will return home one day. She and the other deportees become each others families, working together to try to survive the brutality. Along the way, she even finds love. This is an amazing book about a little known episode in history. You really need to read this one!

Enclave by Ann Aguirre
I’m not sure if I’m just getting burned out on dystopia, but this book didn’t grab me. It was okay, not great but not bad either. For me it felt as if the plot was a bit less complex than a book like Divergent. But that is exactly what may make it more appealing to a reluctant reader.

Young Fredle by Cynthia Voigt. Illustrated by Louise Yates and read by Wendy Carter.
I had already read this book and I’m trying to avoid repeating titles. But I enjoyed it so much I couldn’t resist the opportunity to listen to the audiobook. I love Fredle’s curiousity, sense of adventure, and willingness to try new things. It’s not really a YA book. But it made a nice break for me.

Axe Cop by Malachai and Ethan Nicolle.
As I have mentioned before, I don’t read many graphic novels. But my husband does, and he will inevitably pick up any that I bring into the house. He got about a third of the way through Axe Cop and gave it back to me saying it reminded him of Captain Underpants. After reading it myself, I have to agree with him. That’s not a criticism. Our son was a great fan of Captain Underpants and I will definitely be recommendingAxe Cop to him. I showed it to one young man who works in our library and he absolutely loved it. I can’t say that I enjoyed this graphic novel. But I am glad that I read it.

On to next week! I’ve started listening to The Ring of Solomon (Amazing Audiobooks) and my next book will be Brain Jack (Top 10 Popular Paperbacks).

YALSA’s The Hub Best of the Best Week 3 Check-In


About booksnquilts

I'm the Children's Services Coordinator for the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Central Virginia.
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One Response to Best of the Best Challenge: Week 3 Update

  1. Pingback: Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys | Books in the Burbs

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