Tagged: ya of the ’80s & ’90s

Audiobook Review: Howl’s Moving Castle

In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of the three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes.

Every once in a while, I’ll read a book that I can honestly say I have no clue what’s going on in it, but still I enjoy it very much.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones is one of those books.

Oh, sure, I can give you a rundown of the basic plot: Sophie pisses off the Witch of the Waste who then hits Sophie with a curse so that she turns into an old woman. Sophie, who previous to the curse had settled for being the oldest and therefore the one with no choices, leaves home so as not to freak anybody out and takes up residence in Howl’s castle, which moves across the countryside. Howl has a reputation for destroying young girls, but since Sophie’s no longer young, she’s not afraid. While staying with Howl, she meets Calcifer the fire demon who asks her to break a spell on him. And the other resident of the moving castle is Michael, Howl’s apprentice.

Then some stuff happens with seven league boots, moving between worlds, the witch, Howl being vain and trying to get all the ladies to love him, and Sophie being really nosy or ornery because she’s old. I mean, a lot happens that I can’t really explain so well.

All I do know is that I was completely wrapped up in the story.

This was my second time reading the book. The first time I read it in paperback form; this time, I listened to the audiobook. The narrator, Jenny Sterlin, is fantastic. All of the characters have different and distinct voices, even young Sophie compared to old Sophie.

I listened to most of the book on a very long road trip, and I will admit that I had to shut it off a few times because I got sleepy. I don’t know if it’s because the pace of the story is a little slow or what. But I did need a break from time to time.

That said, even though this was my second time reading the book, I can give you a better run down of some of the plot stuff, though I couldn’t remember the terms of Calcifer’s contract so kept missing all of the hints. And because I was listening instead of holding a physical book, I couldn’t mark the passages to go back and say, “ohhhhhh.” Which means I want to go back and re-read it again in paper form.

I do know that I had the exact same response to the end of the book that I had the first time I read it. It just makes me smile and smile and clap my hands together.

Also, Sophie is the best. Such a great character. I really kind of love her.

YA of the ’80s and ’90s: 7; Support Your Local Library: 40; YA Reading Challenge: 35; Howl’s Moving Castle: 7;  Page to Screen: 6

Mini book reviews: November and December

I am currently eight (!) books behind on reviews, so it’s time for some mini-reviews, yes? Yes.

The Daily Show’s Five Questions from Comedy Central: Back when Craig Kilborn hosted TDS, he had a segment in which he asked the celeb guests five questions. This book chronicles his favorites or the most memorable, I guess. I have no real opinion of this book. I read it in the bathroom, and that’s about all I have to say about it. That, and the book was worth the ten cents I spent on it at the library book sale.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling: I really, really, really want to hang out with Mindy Kaling. I think she’d be a lot of fun, and not just because we’re the same age. I liked the longer, more personal essays in this book, but the short vignettes were cute, too. I think I’d have liked this better if it were more of the longer essays or if it leaned more specifically to either personal or comedic essays. Either way, reading the book made me feel like I was sitting down and swapping stories with a good friend. A friend who I could talk about *NSYNC with.

Support Your Local LIbrary: 39; POC Reading Challenge: 23

Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman: There is a lot going on in this little comic book–a lot. Tons of characters are introduced as well as scores of conflict. In the end, though, more world building than anything went on. I felt like this book was really to get me ready for the next book in the series since the major plotline wasn’t really resolved. Great characters, though. GREAT characters.

POC Reading Challenge: 24; Graphic Novels: 9/10; Off the Shelf: 12

How Al-Anon Works for Families and Friends of Alcoholics by Al-Anon Family Groups: The first half is an outline of the program; the second half is packed full of personal stories about various experiences with Al-Anon. A great primer if you’re interested in the program. The book really told me a lot about my life as well as showing me that exploring Al-Anon is something I need to do right now.

Off the Shelf: 13

I Hate Being Gifted by Patricia Hermes: As someone identified as gifted in elementary school, I was interested to see what, exactly, the main character hated about being gifted. Turns out she was upset because the gifted class took her away from her friends and then they made new friends. HOW COULD THEY? I couldn’t really connect to or relate to the book because the focus was on friendship and cliques and sixth grade mean girls. Also, the main character was kind of whiny. It’s not like I was the most mature 12-year-old or anything, but I guess I just didn’t see what the big deal was.

Off the Shelf: 14

Best Friends Tell the Best Lies by Carol Dines: Let me just say that the cover art on my copy of the book (another library book sale find) is totally misleading. It shows three people smiling and having a snowball fight, and that did not happen at all! There was no smiling in the snow, only heartache and crying and yelling. I mean, yes, I knew this book was about lying best friends so I didn’t expect all roses and sunshine, but it was really sad. My favorite thing about the book is probably that the ending is really kind of bleak. The characters are well drawn, the conflict is solid, and the plot is realistically messy.

Off the Shelf: 15; YA Challenge: 38; YA of the ’80s and ’90s: 8

Audiobook Review: Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine is a reread for me, though the audiobook narrated by Eden Riegel is a brand new experience. It has been years–years!–since I’ve read EE. In fact, the last (and first) time I read the book was right after the movie came out.

What can I say about this book? It is pretty much perfection. I love Ella so much. I LOVE HER. Love, love, love, LOVE. I wish words could adequately express how awesome Ella is because she is JUST THAT AWESOME. She’s smart, funny, clever, stubborn, bullheaded, and just…I just love her is all. She is so great.

I mean, really. That is my largest take away from the book.

And, yes, the rest of the book is awesome, too, but mostly I just love Ella THE MOST.

As for how it fares as an audiobook: I’m not the biggest fan of Riegel as a narrator–only because Ella sounds much younger than fifteen. And, yes, I realize that’s how Riegel sounds in real life, but that’s not the way I expect Ella to sound. Also, there are weird musical interludes that I didn’t care for.

That said, I could ignore all of that because the story is just so amazingly fantastic.

Did I mention I love Ella? She is really my favorite. Love her.

YA of the ’80s and ’90s: 6; Support Your Local Library: 38; YA Reading Challenge: 34; Audiobook Challenge: 6/6; Page to Screen: 5/5;

Book Review: Alias Madame Doubtfire

“How dare you?” Miranda shook with rage. “How dare you deceive me like this, and arrange for my own children to deceive me? How dare you encourage them to collude with you in lying to me and humiliating me?”

Did you know Mrs. Doubtfire is based on a book???? I certainly did not. So imagine my delight when I ran across Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine at the library book sale. At first, I thought was one of those novels based on movies. But no! Mrs. Doubtfire is based on the novel. So I had to read it.

First of all, let me just say that I love Mrs. Doubtfire. LOVE. It makes me laugh every single time I watch it. Every single time. I love the restaurant bit with the “Help is on the way!” and I love the “He’s a she-she…she’s a he-she” part. And the transformation scene and when he says that Miranda maybe has crabs. And “It was a run by fruiting“! HAHAHAHAHA. That is all from memory! So what I’m saying is that I love the movie.

The book is much more serious. The basic premise is the same. Daniel and Miranda are divorced, Daniel wants to keep the three kids after school, Miranda won’t let him, and so he becomes her housekeeper Madame Doubtfire. There are some funny bits (like Daniel’s other job being a nude model and the neighbor making fun of him), but mostly the book explores the horrors of divorce. The parents are just wretched to each other. Daniel frequently pantomimes killing the mom (IN FRONT OF THE KIDS), and Miranda calls Daniel names and talks bad about him (in front of anyone who will listen).

Basically, all of the bits with the parents being horrible to each other in the movie are lifted straight from the book. Except the book parents are worse.

What I do like about the book is that the kids recognize Daniel right away. (Of course, his disguise is less elaborate since Frank and Jack don’t exist in the book.) I also like that the book is ultimately about the kids and, in the end, they drive the action. So the book kids are better than the movie kids.

In conclusion: Movie parents are better, book kids are better, and overall I prefer the movie’s light-hearted look at divorce (though it is sad!) over the book’s dark tone, though I do appreciate the book’s realism. So American I am with my choice of narrative!

YA of the ’80s and ’90s: 6; YA Reading Challenge: 33; Page to Screen: 4/5

Nostalgia: If This Is Love, I’ll Take Spaghetti

I’ve always considered myself a very level-headed sort of person. While my friends struggle through adolescence alternating between moods of rapture and despair, I sail along on a fairly even keel, never–or almost never–going overboard about anything.

So starts “I’ll Never Stop Loving You, Tommy Toledo,” the second of nine stories in Ellen Conford’s If This Is Love, I’ll Take Spaghetti AKA The Best Short Story Collection EVER.

Okay, maybe not. But this book was one of the ones I sought out as I made my through the Friends of the Library book sale. I had to have it. What’s so great about it is that as soon as I opened the book and started reading, the details of all the stories came back to me immediately. It’s just so great. SO GREAT.

The stories, in order, are:

“If This Is Love, I’ll Take Spaghetti” — Jamie wants to lose twenty pounds, but what she really wants is for Jeff to notice her. And he does! But before she loses weight. So does that mean she doesn’t need to diet anymore?

“I’ll Never Stop Loving You, Tommy Toledo” — Level-headed Katie does not entertain celebrity crushes, until she falls hard for Tommy Toledo. She becomes obsessed. OBSESSED. So obsessed she drags her best friend to a concert and then on a stalking mission at his hotel. Is Tommy everything she hoped?

“What Do I Do Now?” — A terrifically shy girl writes to an advice columnist about how to get the boy of her dreams who is possibly equally shy to notice her. All of the advice she gets manages to backfire, so she engages in a back and forth with the columnist, which allows the reader to see how it’s all playing out.

“Take My Mom–Please!” — Bonnie befriends Tamara Cherp (yes, Cherp) on the first day of school, and gets to meet Tamara’s eccentric mother who Bonnie thinks is just fantastically amazing and wants her own mother to emulate.

“I Hate You, Wallace B. Pokras” – Barbara sees her boyfriend at the movies with another girl. Everything she thinks (mostly about how she hates him, and he is a lying liar who lies) is outlined in this story.

“The Girl Who Had Everything” – Diane is the girl who has everything. Her best friend is the narrator who tells us what happens when Diane’s boyfriend maybe kind of loses interest in her. Such an outside looking in story.

“Loathe at First Sight” – Alan tries to hit on Anne with disastrous results.

“Your Three Minutes Are Up” – In the world before call waiting, Libby constantly hogs the phone, so much so that her parents put egg timers by all the phones and limit her calls to three minutes each. Oh, and she can only have three calls per day. AND her friends’ parents follow suit.

“Double Date” – Two best friends get separated when one moves to a different school district, but they both manage to fall for a boy whose name is a variation on Richard.

The last story is the weakest, but the focus on friendship makes me happy. I love, love the Tommy Toledo one because it’s so over the top and ridiculous. I just…homegirl does some dedicated stalking. I can’t even imagine her in the internet age. She’d be that girl posting pictures on twitter after finding out where dude lives and then wondering why everybody calls her crazy/inappropriate. I love the message in If This Is Love with its emphasis on doing things for yourself and not so people will like you. And my absolute favorite is “The Girl Who Had Everything.” Probably because it speaks to my inner sidekick.

The point is that I loved rereading this whole collection. IT SPEAKS TO ME. Ellen Conford, you are great.

Now, if only I could get my hands on Seven Days to a Brand New Me

YA of the ’80s and ’90s: 4; YA Reading Challenge: 22/20; Off the Shelf: 7/5

Book Review: Static Shock Vol. 1: Rebirth of the Cool

This is an incredibly difficult review to write. Not because of the book or anything in it, but because looking up links to post about Dwayne McDuffie makes me so incredibly sad. He was just so talented, and he did such a great thing creating Milestone Comics and characters like Static and Icon in a city like Dakota, and it just makes me sad. He was so young. I mean, he was an incredible blessing and talent in the comics and animation world and I don’t want to take away from that, but he was just so young and awesome and now he’s gone.

I was going to say that my first introduction to Dwayne McDuffie and his work was through the Static Shock cartoon (which is unfortunately not available as a complete series), but that’s not true. I was introduced to him through the Justice League cartoon on Cartoon Network. Whenever I saw his name at the beginning of an episode I knew it would have great one-liners or a fun plot. Whenever a new DC animation movie came out, I would check to see if either he and/or Bruce Timm were listed before giving it any of my time.

My daughter and I did watch Static Shock when it aired on Cartoon Network, and we really enjoyed it. We especially loved the Li’l Romeo theme song, and cannot, in fact, say Static Shock without adding the “Superhero” and “woo woo.”

As for the actual book, there are lots of differences between the comic book and the television show. Big, obvious differences such as Frieda is his best friend instead of Richie (and he is in love with her). Oh, and his mom is alive in the comic. Also, the tone is lighter on the TV show. Virgil isn’t a bullied kid, though he does still have a smart mouth. I don’t remember his origin story on the show except that he was present during the Big Bang, but in the comic he goes to get revenge on the kids who are pushing him around.

It’s hard for me to even write a review about the book because I was reading it as a celebration of the artist Dwayne McDuffie, not to read critically. I liked the look at the expectations for Virgil from his family, the way his mouth gets him in trouble, his angst about being a superhero, his romantic exploits. I like the different villains and not-so-villains. His relationship with Frieda is very interesting, and it would be nice to see how that continues to play out.

I think, if you like the television show, it’s worth the read. I think, if you are interested in the formation of an inner-city black superhero, it’s worth the read.

I think it’s worth the read.

R.I.P. Dwayne McDuffie. You will be missed.

YA of the ’80s and ’90s: 3; Support Your Local Library: 14/30; YA Reading Challenge: 9/20; POC Challenge 8/15; Graphic Novels Challenge: 3/10; Page to Screen: 1/5

Audiobook Review: Tangerine

But I can see. I can see everything. I can see things that Mom and Dad can’t. Or won’t.

I attempted to listen to the audiobook of Tangerine by Edward Bloor (narrated by Ramón de Ocampo) a few months ago with my daughter, but she deemed it boring, so we returned it to the library and got something else. But I still wanted to read it. So when I had to take a road trip alone recently, I went back to the library and got it. I am so glad I did.

It’s the story of Paul Fisher and what happens when his family moves to (fictional) Tangerine County in Florida.

I loved this book. LOVED. I loved the plot, I loved the characters, I loved the narration. I only listen to audiobooks in my car, and I wound up bringing the last disk of this one in the house to listen to because I had to know what was going to happen. I just had to. I couldn’t wait and listen to it piecemeal on my next errand.

Some of what makes this book awesome:

  • It’s unpredictable. I am something of a story expert. I can see plot twists coming from a mile away. With this book, even the stuff that I knew was coming unfolded in ways I didn’t expect. Not to mention there were several times I gasped out loud.
  • Okay, I mentioned the characters, but I really kind of just love the mom. I mean, yes, all the characters are well-developed, have clear motivations, etc. But I just get such a strong sense of the type of woman Paul’s mom is. I’m not saying we would be friends or anything (she is kind of uptight even by my standards), but, wow, I felt like I knew her.
  • I am not a huge sports fan, and, between soccer and football, sports are discussed A LOT in this book. However, Bloor uses sports to explore friendship and brotherhood and family, and I dig that. Needless to say, I am a huge fan of friendship stories in all of their different forms. Also, sports fanaticism is explored, and how it allows athletes–certain athletes, mind–special privileges.
  • Bloor takes a fantastic look at class and class privilege. Just…yeah, I really can’t say more than that.
  • If you are interested in community planning or development (like one of my friends), this book is allllll about a poorly planned community. All of the issues that crop up in Paul’s community happen because the planners didn’t understand the land they were building on or ignored everything they knew about it to make what they wanted. And, wow, does it ever backfire.
  • Can we have a little chat about favoritism? Because it’s pretty clear who is the favorite in Paul’s family. Hint: It’s his brother Erik.
  • Let’s have a little talk about the narration, shall we? Ramón de Ocampo is FANTASTIC. He’s a little old for Paul to be sure, but all of his voices are great. He’s super compelling. Also: hot. (Just a little eye candy for the people.)

My only complaint is that I didn’t get enough of Erik as the charmer. I get how Paul sees him and why, but I wish I could see a little bit more of how he charms grown ups. I mean, it can’t all be his football prowess.

Other than that, though, I think it’s pretty much perfect.

YA of the ’80s and ’90s: 2; Support Your Local Library: 13/30; YA Reading Challenge: 8/20; Audiobook Challenge: 2/6; POC Challenge: 7/15

(I’m counting this for the POC Challenge because the narrator is a POC even though the author and main character are not.)

Book Review: A Star for the Latecomer

Were there other kids out there whose parents wanted them to be big football heroes, or presidents of the class? The pressure to succeed must be felt by a lot of kids I know. To live up to our parents’ expectations for us, to make them proud of us, to love us. What price do we pay for their love?

A Star for the Latecomer by Bonnie Zindel and Paul Zindel was another library book sale find. I was really intrigued by the tagline (“Her mother wanted her to be famous. Brooke wanted to be in love.”) and the cover. A dancing book! I thought with excitement. A dancing book with a girl who is torn between a boy and dancing and her mother’s dreams and her own!

Yeah, not quite. This is actually a book about a girl (Brooke) whose mother is dying of cancer. Which…not so fun as the story I had made up based on the cover. That said, it is an interesting story of how a girl deals with her mother’s impending death as well as how it conflicts with what she wants for herself. I mean, her mom does want her to be famous, and she does just kind of want to chase after Brandon (for that is the boy’s name).

The book is well-written, but not quite what I wanted to read. Most of Brooke’s turmoil is internal. I don’t feel like she ever really confronts what her mother wants versus what she wants. It’s all about her being sad and trying to audition for stuff so her mom will be happy. Which…okay.  But  that’s seriously the WHOLE book. I would have much rather read about her navigating the tricky emotional landscape of her dead mother’s dream for her and what happens if she doesn’t pursue it. I just think that would have been a more interesting story. As it is, it’s just, you know, all right. Sad to be sure, but just all right.

YA of the ’80s and ’90s: 1; Off the Shelf: 3/5; YA Reading Challenge: 5/20

2011 Reading Challenges

I have decided to sign up for the following reading challenges for 2011.

Quirky Brown Reading Challenge: The focus here is on books offering an offbeat black experience, which I’m taking to mean no hood lit and no books about slavery (although 47 counts as offbeat, I’m sure). I’m going to do Level II, which is three books.

Books Read for the Challenge:

  1. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  2. The Man in My Basement by Walter Mosley
  3. Sex, Murder and a Double Latte by Kyra Davis
  4. Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson
  5. 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter
  6. Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money by Christopher Paul Curtis

YA of the ’80s and ’90s:  You had me at YA. You won me at ’80s and ’90s.  And that graphic! So much win all around.

Books Read for the Challenge:

  1. A Star for the Latecomer by Bonnie and Paul Zindel
  2. Tangerine by Edward Bloor
  3. Static Shock Vol. 1: Rebirth of the Cool by Dwayne McDuffie, Robert L. Washington III, and John Paul Leon
  4. If This Is Love, I’ll Take Spaghetti by Ellen Conford
  5. Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine
  6. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  7. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  8. Best Friends Tell the Best Lies by Carol Dines

Support Your Local Library Challenge: No brainer. I get all of my books from the library anyway. I’m doing the mini level: 30 books. I don’t really get the image for the button there, but whatever.

Books Read for This Challenge:

  1. Cupid by Julius Lester
  2. Teenage Waistland by Lynn Biederman & Lisa Pazer
  3. Thwonk by Joan Bauer
  4. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  5. Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart
  6. Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
  7. Smile by Raina Telgemeier
  8. Wonder Woman: Who Is Wonder Woman? by Allan Heinberg
  9. The Dream Book: Symbols for Self Understanding by Betty Bethards
  10. Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen
  11. Nice Dreads by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner
  12. One Lonely Degree by C. K. Kelly Martin
  13. Tangerine by Edward Bloor
  14. Static Shock Vol. 1: Rebirth of the Cool by Dwayne McDuffie, Robert L. Washington III, and John Paul Leon
  15. Schooled by Gordon Korman
  16. Peace from Broken Pieces by Iyanla Vanzant
  17. Sex, Murder and a Double Latte by Kyra Davis
  18. Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson
  19. Abandon by Meg Cabot
  20. I Saw You… by Julia Wertz
  21. Jazz in Love by Neesha Meminger
  22. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
  23. She’s So Money by Cherry Cheva
  24. Spanking Shakespeare by Jake Wizner
  25. Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes
  26. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
  27. Level Up by Gene Luen Yang & Thien Pham
  28. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
  29. Athena the Brain by Joan Holub
  30. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
  31. Excalibur by Tony Lee, illustrated by Sam Hart
  32. Workin’ It!: RuPaul’s Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style by RuPaul
  33. Bossypants by Tina Fey
  34. Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout
  35. Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger
  36. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  37. Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money by Christopher Paul Curtis
  38. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  39. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
  40. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  41. How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
  42. My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody

Young Adult Reading Challenge:  Another no brainer. I’m going to do the Fun Size challenge (20 books) since I came up short this year. My reading tastes have been all over the place lately.

Books Read for This Challenge:

  1. Cupid by Julius Lester
  2. Teenage Waistland by Lynn Biederman & Lisa Pazer
  3. Thwonk by Joan Bauer
  4. Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart
  5. A Star for the Latecomer by Bonnie and Paul Zindel
  6. Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
  7. One Lonely Degree by C. K. Kelly Martin
  8. Tangerine by Edward Bloor
  9. Static Shock Vol. 1: Rebirth of the Cool by Dwayne McDuffie, Robert L. Washington III, and John Paul Leon
  10. Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors
  11. Schooled by Gordon Korman
  12. Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson
  13. Abandon by Meg Cabot
  14. Jazz in Love by Neesha Meminger
  15. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
  16. Dear Lovey Hart, I Am Desperate by Ellen Conford
  17. Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors
  18. She’s So Money by Cherry Cheva
  19. Deenie by Judy Blume
  20. Spanking Shakespeare by Jake Wizner
  21. Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes
  22. If This Is Love, I’ll Take Spaghetti by Ellen Conford
  23. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
  24. Level Up by Gene Luen Yang & Thien Pham
  25. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
  26. How Not to Spend Your Senior Year by Cameron Dokey
  27. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
  28. Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge
  29. Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
  30. Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout
  31. Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger
  32. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  33. Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine
  34. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  35. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  36. How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
  37. My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
  38. Best Friends Tell the Best Lies by Carol Dines
  39. A Tale of Two Proms by Cara Lockwood
  40. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Audiobook Challenge: Another no brainer. We are big on audiobooks now, so I’m all for finding new narrators and authors. I’m going to do the Fascinated level, 6 books.

Books Read for This Challenge:

  1. Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen
  2. Tangerine by Edward Bloor
  3. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
  4. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  5. Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money by Christopher Paul Curtis
  6. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  7. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  8. Sorry, Wrong Number by Lucille Fletcher

Page to Screen Reading Challenge: I frequently seek out books that have been turned into other media. Yay. I’m going to do Level One, 5 books.

Books Read for This Challenge:

  1. Static Shock Vol. 1: Rebirth of the Cool by Dwayne McDuffie, Robert L. Washington III, and John Paul Leon
  2. Dear Lovey Hart, I Am Desperate by Ellen Conford
  3. Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes
  4. Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine
  5. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  6. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  7. Sorry, Wrong Number by Lucille Fletcher

POC Reading Challenge: I really enjoyed doing this challenge, so I’m all for doing it again. I’m going to sign up at Level 4 again with an intent to read 10-15 books by POC authors or featuring POC characters.

Books Read for This Challenge:

  1. Healing Rage by Ruth King
  2. Cupid by Julius Lester
  3. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  4. The Man in My Basement by Walter Mosley
  5. Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
  6. Nice Dreads by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner
  7. Tangerine by Edward Bloor
  8. Static Shock Vol. 1: Rebirth of the Cool by Dwayne McDuffie, Robert L. Washington III, and John Paul Leon
  9. Peace from Broken Pieces by Iyanla Vanzant
  10. Sex, Murder and a Double Latte by Kyra Davis
  11. Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson
  12. Jazz in Love by Neesha Meminger
  13. She’s So Money by Cherry Cheva
  14. 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter
  15. Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes
  16. Level Up by Gene Luen Yang & Thien Pham
  17. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
  18. Workin’ It!: RuPaul’s Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style by RuPaul
  19. Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout
  20. Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger
  21. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  22. Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money by Christopher Paul Curtis
  23. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
  24. Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman
  25. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Graphic Novels Challenge: I’ve decided that this is the year I’ll read a bunch of classics, but only in graphic novel form. So I feel like this is a good challenge for me. I’m going to do Intermediate, 3-10 books.

Books Read for This Challenge:

  1. Smile by Raina Telgemeier
  2. Wonder Woman: Who Is Wonder Woman? by Allan Heinberg
  3. Static Shock Vol. 1: Rebirth of the Cool by Dwayne McDuffie, Robert L. Washington III, and John Paul Leon
  4. I Saw You… by Julia Wertz
  5. Level Up by Gene Luen Yang & Thien Pham
  6. How to Avoid Making Art by Julia Cameron
  7. Excalibur by Tony Lee, illustrated by Sam Hart
  8. Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge
  9. Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman

Off the Shelf Challenge: I have a bunch of books on my shelves that I haven’t read. So yeah. I need to do this one. I’m going to do Tempted, which is 5 books.

Books Read for This Challenge:

  1. Healing Rage by Ruth King
  2. The Man in My Basement by Walter Mosley
  3. A Star for the Latecomer by Bonnie and Paul Zindel
  4. Dear Lovey Hart, I Am Desperate by Ellen Conford
  5. Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors
  6. Deenie by Judy Blume
  7. If This Is Love, I’ll Take Spaghetti by Ellen Conford
  8. How to Avoid Making Art by Julia Cameron
  9. How Not to Spend Your Senior Year by Cameron Dokey
  10. Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
  11. I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
  12. Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman
  13. How Al-Anon Works for Friends and Families of Alcoholics by Al-Anon Family Groups
  14. I Hate Being Gifted by Patricia Hermes
  15. Best Friends Tell the Best Lies by Carol Dines