The Hub Reading Challenge Update – Weeks 6 & 7

I failed to write an update for week 6. It would have been a rather short one, even if I had checked in. I read just one book that week. But I made up for that this week by reading five this week. In the process, I completed the Challenge and my personal goal of reading something from each list. That doesn’t mean that I will stop reading for the Challenge. There are lots of books that are still calling to me. I’d be tempted to try for the bigger challenge of reading all of the books. But I know that won’t be possible. There are too many titles that my library system doesn’t own. So, we’ll see how far I get. In particular, I’m looking forward to seeing how many lists I can complete.

Cover of Girlchild by Tupelo HassmanGirlchild by Tupelo Hassman
This is definitely a grim book. It’s definitely well written and interesting, but Rory’s life is pretty horrible. There’s a sense that she is going to escape and break the cycle in the end, but I was hard pressed to really feel hopeful. After all, her mother had been similarly abused as a child and was determined to protect her daughter. Though she moved and tried to change her life, she failed to see the signs when her child became the victim. It’s unusual for me to take an entire week to read one book. But I could only read this story for short periods of time before needing a break. It’s not graphic. In fact, that almost makes it more powerful. Hassman leaves it too your imagination by blacking through the entries that the 8-year-old Rory can’t bear to remember. This Alex award winner may appeal to some older teens. I can’t say that I enjoyed this book. I’m not sure I’m glad I read it. But it definitely moved me and will stay with me for a long time.

Page, Squire, and Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce
After reading Girlchild, I really needed to read something light and fun. So I turned to my shelf and grabbed these. I’ve already raved about how much I love Tamora Pierce and how great this series is. So, enough said. I’ve now read the entire Edwards Award List.

Cover of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse AndrewsMe and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I was hoping for something similar to Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford or Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar. But this book just felt like it was trying too hard. It was just too over the top for me. When I finished, I was left wondering “What was the point?”

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
The Name of the Star by Maureen JohnsonThis book was the one that completed the Challenge for me and also let me check off the last list. But that is not why I spent every spare moment I had yesterday reading it. I needed to know what happened! OK, I was able to figure out some parts of it early on. But Johnson kept me hooked all the way and the end still had surprises in store for me. I might not have read this book if not for the Challenge because Jack the Ripper just doesn’t hold any interest for me. But this really isn’t about Jack the Ripper except as a figure that captures the public’s attention and generates fear. This was a good way to end the week!


I’m now listening to Code Name Verity and enjoying it so far. The audio of The Diviners also arrived this week. That’s a lot of CD’s to listen to in just two weeks. There are multiple requests on them, so I won’t be able to renew them. It’s time to look hard at my To Read shelf and prioritize it so that I start to get through some of the books that have been sitting there the longest. I’m embarrassed by how many times I’ve renewed some of them.


About booksnquilts

I'm the Children's Services Coordinator for the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Central Virginia.
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2 Responses to The Hub Reading Challenge Update – Weeks 6 & 7

  1. Thank you for the link to my entry on Pierce! I’ve never before put into words what it was that I loved so much about her and Kel–and I’ve certainly had people ask–so I’m glad it made sense and reflected your own experience with her books.

    I’m really impressed by your decision to read so many YA books in such a focused way! It’s making me wonder if I should try something like this myself. Summer vacation /is/ on its way…

    Out of this entry, I think I’d like to look into Johnson’s “The Name of the Star”. Your review of Girlchild reminds me of having to read Catcher in the Rye in high school; I read most of it in ten minute increments in the bath, because for some reason it made me feel really emotional. I think I’d like to go back and reread to see why that was.

    • booksnquilts says:

      As a Youth Services Librarian, staying up to date on Children’s and YA books is pretty important to my job. The Challenge really does help me broaden my reading beyond what I’d normally go for. Luckily my husband views all of my reading as professional development while I just feel like I’m indulging in a pastime I love.

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