I've been a very bad blogger lately and, try as I might, I just can't shake the blogging slump that I've been in. So, after seeing this on another blog I read, I'm going to try something new.... a topic/theme a day. I have a few ideas written down, but I'm not sure which ones I'll use or which days I'll do them on (suggestions welcome!). I have decided that on Mondays I'll blog about books (or at least try to until I forget and abandon the blog yet again).
Since I just finished a couple of books this past week, this Monday I'll blog about what I've read.
As my real life friends know, I have an obsession with Young Adult/Juvenile Fiction. I truly love reading it. Plus there's the added bonus of being able to share my finds with my children. Clara is just now coming around to bigger chapter books, but Alex and I have been sharing books for years.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to the library and picked out a couple of books for myself...
The first one I read was Lord of the Nutcracker Men by Iain Lawrence. I will admit that it was the word "nutcracker" in the title that caught my attention. Clara is obsessed with the Nutcracker and it is that time of year again. However, this book has absolutely nothing to do with the ballet. This book is about a little boy, living in London at the beginning of World War I. Prior to the beginning of the war, his father (a toymaker) makes him an army of nutcracker men. As the war begins, he father starts making French soldiers to fight his German nutcracker army. The boy is soon sent to live with an aunt in the countryside and the father goes off to war. The father continues to carve new soldiers for his son. But as the war progresses, the soldiers become almost too realistic, carved in the likeness of other soldiers or reflecting some of the horrors the father is witnessing. The boy puts them right into battle to fight the nutcracker men. I'll stop there with the description, in case you might read it yourself. It is a very emotional book. I first started reading it while sitting at Starbucks. I about caused a scene as this book grabs you emotionally right from the start. My eyes started welling up almost instantly. It think that it's a very well written piece of historical fiction. I would love for Alex to read it (the subject matter may be too much for Clara, not sure yet). I'll have to keep it in mind for him as the book is due back, and he's in the middle of another book.
The second book I read was Silent to the Bone by E.L. Konigsburg. I recently discovered her books and I go to her section when I'm not sure what else to pick up. I love a good mystery and her books always have mystery to them. This was a really good book that was hard to put down. Some of the subject matter (and it was the same with the other book I read this summer, The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World) is just a little mature for Alex. I'm not quite sure how to explain it. It's not bad or explicit, it just plays a key part in how the mystery all comes together, and I just don't think he would "get it" yet. I think I'll hold off on recommending it to him until he's a little closer to the age of the main characters.
Now, just two more days until I hit the library again! My plan is to pick randomly again, but if you have any YA suggestions, I would love them!