While I haven’t been posting updates here regularly, I have been reading for the challenge. In fact, I have finished the Nonfiction Challenge and am reading the final book in the Morris Award short list. I should have no problem finishing by January 28th.
Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
Intrigue, spying, resistance fighters behind enemy lines sabotaging the Nazis – this book has it all! While scientists in the United States race to build an atomic bomb before the Nazis do, resistance fighters target a vital power plant in Norway to sabotage the Nazi effort and the Soviet Union frantically tries to get spies inside the project to steal the plans. The story is true but it reads like a classic spy novel. I think this was my favorite of Nonfiction challenge books.
After the Snow by S. D. Crockett
This book is set in a future Britain where changes in the ocean temperature and currents have caused a drastic drop in temperature in Europe. When Willo Blake’s family disappears, he sets off through the snows to try to find them. This story combines post-apocalyptic and dystopian elements with a good, old-fashioned survival story. It sounds like it should be a real winner. But it fell flat for me. The story didn’t draw me in. I was particularly bothered by Willo’s voice. He speaks in a folksy dialect. But no one else seems to speak that way, so he just comes across as slightly stupid. I think this book has potential to appeal to teens and wouldn’t be surprised to see it make the Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list.
Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura BuzoFifteen-year-old Amelia gets a job at the local supermarket and finds herself falling in love with her 22-year-old co-worker, Chris. As if the age difference wasn’t enough of a problem, Chris is still in love with the girl who dumped him. But this is more than a story of unattainable love. Amelia is a smart, strong person struggling with feeling awkward in social situations. She and Chris discuss literature, feminism and family roles as they become friends and deal with an attraction both know is unrealistic. This book is set in Australia and it is interesting to see the characters having Christmas during their summer vacation. An interesting read for someone who wants a bit more substance to their romance. I do wonder how much teen appeal this will have. Those looking for a fun romance may find themselves bogged down in complex discussion about literature and feminist theory. I kind of like that it doesn’t have the typical “happily ever after” romance ending.
So I’m currently reading The Miseducation of Cameron Post. It’s too early to tell for sure, but it seems well-written. I think I’m going to like it.