This has been an unusually busy reading week with twenty-six books read. That's a few too many to review, so I will just hit a few.
Newbery Challenge: I read Amos Fortune, Free Man. I felt like the book made freedom sound important and worth fighting for, but at the same time managed to make the white slave owners somehow look like they were pretty blameless. I didn't enjoy the slant it had to it. The author seemed sympathetic to the slave, but also didn't quite seem to want to hold the white characters accountable. Anyway about it, I wasn't a big fan. It also bothered me that it is billed as a biography, but it is clearly a novel. That is always problematic. I found a great discussion of some issues of Amos Fortune here.
Best YA: Code Name Verity was definitely the most intriguing YA book that I read. It dealt with two young women involved in WWII. One was a pilot and the other was her friend. The book is full of action, suspense and incredibly powerful situations that tugged at my emotions. War is just horrific and there is no way around it.
Best Middle Grade: One for the Murphys was a fantastic book about resilience. Carley is in the foster care system and has many issues. Beware, this book is likely to require tissues, but it is completely worth the emotional disturbance it may cause.
Best Picture Book: Pecan Pie Baby is a great book about a young girl adjusting to the idea of a new baby joining their family.
Best Non-fiction: This is a difficult one because I read several really good ones this week. First Girl Scout: The Life of Juliette Gordon Low was probably the one I enjoyed the most. That may simply be because it was the most complete since it wasn't a picture book. Basketball Belles and the Irena Sendler picture books were excellent as was Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglas, but First Girl Scout was just very thorough and Juliette's life and personality is truly fascinating.
Plan for This Week: I am in the midst of The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan and so will finish that, then I will read its sequel and my final 2011 Nerdy Nominee, The Son of Neptune. I also plan to re-read Divergent in preparation for reading Insurgent. Another one I am looking forward to is The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. Aside from that, I will read the next Newbery, Ginger Pye. Along the way, I may get sidetracked by random picture books, but that is always fun. Happy reading!