I started a project this past summer where I read one book from each bookshelf of the Children’s (Juvenile Fiction) section of the library. The book I choose has to be one I’ve never read before – and I can’t read a book in a series I’ve read part of. After I read each book, I write a short review and post it where I post all the other books I read, on my reading blog.
#26: Penny Dreadful (Laurel Snyder)
Penny is bored with her life and her parents never have time to spend with her. She knows she should be happy – she has a private tutor, playdates, and anything she could ever want – but she wants something more. When Penny’s dad quits his job and the family begins to run out of money, life starts to look a lot different. Penny makes a wish to try to fix things, but she doesn’t expect that the result will be her parents selling their house and moving to a house they inherited in the country. And none of them expect the house to be already full when they arrive.
I really enjoyed the depictions of children playing outside and without adult supervision in this modern setting.
#27: Dark Lord: The Early Years (Jamie Thomson)
When the Dark Lord is cursed by his mortal enemy, he wakes up dazed in the middle of a suburban parking lot in the body of a teenage boy. He finds the “puny humans” he encounters endlessly irritating – they think his name is “Dirk Lloyd”, and after determining he has no family, quickly place him in a nice foster home. Dirk must find a way to regain his powers and return to his kingdom, with the help of his foster brother and his goth friend from school, Sooz.
#28: Bad Girls (Cynthia Voigt)
Mikey and Margalo meet on the first day of school and become instant friends. The story follows them throughout the year as they cause trouble in their class, become enemies, and then make up.
#29: Barkbelly (Cat Weatherill)
Barkbelly is a wooden boy hatched from a wooden egg, in a land of flesh-and-blood people. When a horrible accident happens in his village, Barkbelly runs away, and keeps running. He sees more and more of his world and has incredible adventures, until he finally finds his way home. Beautifully told story.
#30: Millicent Min, Girl Genius (Lisa Yee)
Millicent is trying to hide the fact that she’s a genius and already in high school from her new friend, but it’s hard when her parents are making her tutor Stanford Wong. Millicent’s character was funny at times but overall I didn’t find the story very engaging.