The Hub Reading Challenge Update – Week 1

2013 The Hub Reading Challenge Participant BadgeThe longer duration of this year’s challenge means that I don’t have to focus almost exclusively on reading just challenge books in order to finish on time. So these updates will probably be a little bit shorter as I try to balance out all of the YA reading with some Children’s books as well. My personal goals for the challenge will be very similar to last year:

  • I will try to read at least one book from each Award and Top Ten List.Where a book is on multiple lists, I will only count it for one list.
  • I will avoid repeating books I have already read. The obvious exception to this rule is the Edwards Award titles. I’ll probably make a couple of other exceptions as I go – likely for Dodger (because I love Terry Pratchett!) and Seraphina.
  • I will make a special effort to read books I would not otherwise read. That means I will read all of the graphic novels that are available in my system.

So, now on to this week’s progress:

Cover of the graphic novel Friends With Boys by Faith Erin HicksFriends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
As I mentioned last week, this book has been on my radar for months. But never picked it up because my pile of books waiting to be read was already too big. Silly me. I’m a very visual person, and an art historian in my dim and distant past, so graphic novels should be something I gravitate to. And I do usually enjoy graphic novels when I read them. So why don’t I read more of them? Part of the reason is that I don’t feel confident choosing them. Of course, I pick up plenty of straight print books that aren’t great and I even return some without finishing them. I think this may be a subject for a post on formats for my regular library blog.

Friends With Boys is the story of Maggie, who grew up being homeschooled by her Mom and with her three older brothers as pretty much her only friends. Now she is starting high school in the local public school. But not only is she dealing with making new friends and coming into conflict with the “in” crowd, she also is haunted by a ghost. The art is clean and clear while also being quite expressive. I especially liked the early sketches that Hicks included at the end so that we could see the visual evolution of the characters.

Cover of paperback edition of Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora PierceAlanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
No, I couldn’t wait to get started on these books! Everybody needs some comfort reading, and they really don’t take long to read. One of the things I love about Pierce’s books is how strong the heroines are. They persevere and follow their own path in the face of huge obstacles put in front of them by society without losing who they are or being any less female in the end. The road blocks may be different for today’s girls. But they are there. I hope that this award will bring these wonderful books back into the spotlight where they can inspire another generation of girls.

I will continue working my way through the Tamora Pierce books. But I will try to ration myself to just one per week, so they don’t take over my reading. Ah, let’s be honest. They could easily take over every waking moment of my life when I’m not at work. I do think that I will read them chronologically and read the Immortals Quartet between Alanna and Protector of the Small. It’s not included in the award. But Daine and Numair play an important role in Keladry’s story. I think I have enough time to indulge myself.

I’m currently reading In Darkness by Nick Lake and will finish that either today or tomorrow. This is one I would not have picked up if it weren’t for the challenge. But it is well worth reading! Not a quick read, or an easy read, and certainly not escapist, but a powerful book.

Don’t forget to check out the progress posts on The Hub’s update post!


About booksnquilts

I'm the Children's Services Coordinator for the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Central Virginia.
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