In February, I finished reading four books. I think my pace was up a bit because I was alternating the books I read for reviewing with the books I was reading for the fifth-grade Battle of the Books team I was coaching (young adult books should be a little faster to read, right?). The Battle wrapped up last Saturday, and our team feels they did well. The awards night is tonight, so we'll find out how many of the 50 questions they got right!
The Gatekeepers by Jen Lancaster. While this was a difficult read, it was well written. As I discussed in my review on Books I Think You Should Read, teen suicide is never going to be a fun topic to pass the time. The author is better known for her humor and memoirs, and applied some of that to the likable characters at this fictional high school. It's a hard book to recommend, but would be great for starting this really tough conversation with a teen you love.
On a much lighter note, The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin was a fun and likable book for the Battle of the Books through Orion Township Library. This is the first of three books in a series about a young girl named Pacy Lin, a Chinese-American girl finding her place in the world. In The Year of the Dog, she learns that she is supposed to 'find herself' this year. But what exactly is that for an elementary school girl? This is a warm and endearing read for ages 8 and older.
The Copenhagen Affair by Amulya Malladi was another book I read to review on Books I Think You Should Read (she's also having a giveaway, which ends March 14!). I really enjoyed this book as well. The main character was Sanya, a married woman who had gone through a nervous breakdown of sorts, and was now examining her marriage and her life. I loved her honest voice, saying the things we so often want to, but don't. Or saying nothing, when there is actually nothing to be said. I also liked seeing Denmark through her eyes. While I don't really list traveling as something I like to do, I do like learning about other places through others' viewpoints, and books.
The last book I finished in February was The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure. This was another Battle of the Books selection. When I asked the librarian which of the books on the list was good for kids of either gender, this was her first recommendation. The Fairy Ring was a delightfully intriguing tale of two cousins who fooled Sir Arther Conan Doyle and the whole world into believing they'd seen and photographed real fairies! The girls started out just taking the photos for fun, but after a few influential people saw and believed them, it all got out of hand quickly. This book is a fun page-turner for kids aged 10 and older.
That's it for my February reads! I've finished two books so far for March, but the Battle of the Books is over, so it's more likely to be all adult books from here on out.What have you read lately that you'd recommend?