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Library Reads #2

Good News! My computer is fixed and operating fully. Hopefully, my computer lasts long enough for me to save up fully for a new one.

Bad News, I have yet another list of books for you.

Here are the books I’ve been reading for the Book Clubs at my job.

YA Book Club

This Book Club are for Teens (Grades 6-12) where we read and we discuss books across various genres and audiences just about every month. The library where I work has a separate Book Club for Teens where they read Graphic Novels.

This book was a cute look into the importance of being neighborly and being aware of who has a community’s best interests over someone who is just selfish and greedy.

The kids who participated in the Book Club Discussion noticed how distant the townspeople were when they were scrambling to go in search of the missing child, but the Mayor tried to brush it off. One of the kids presented what he believed should happen next in the story; ironically, if they had read the next chapter, then they would have learned that what they wanted to happen in the story, did happen in the story. a couple of the kids did finish the book while the rest of them stated they should have finished the book (no, it did not hinder the discussion at all).

This book is a Gothic Horror Fiction narrative in which we are reminded that even tropical “Paradises” can be haunted locations as well.

This book is a perfect example of a story where you need to read to its end (as you will know in my forthcoming review of this book). However, many Teen readers are still learning this in and out of school. If any of the Teens have attended this Book Club Discussion, then it would have been an interesting one because of the events in the narrative that occur from the climax to the falling action to the resolution. I will admit I can’t blame the kids for not finishing this book because you are left wondering when and where the story “picks up.” However, you’re not supposed to know, which is why the second half of this book is worth reading. I hope the kids do reconsider finishing this book.

This Book Club Discussion is upcoming; and, it’s somewhat hilarious that the Book Club for the retelling of Stephen King’s Carrie will be on Valentine’s Day. Yes, a series of random coincidences led to this strange meet up. As for the kids themselves, honestly, while many of the current Teen Generation know who Stephen King is and are familiar with his stories, Carrie is not one of them. Not to mention that not everyone reads and/or enjoys horror stories (and the discussion is on Valentine’s Day). Whether or not any of the kids show up for the discussion, I hope they finish reading this book because the narrative is very well written and very well done.

Umoja Book Club

Recently, I read and I led 2 books for the Umoja Book Club. This is the New Adult Book Club where the focus is on books written by individuals from the African Diaspora.

This is a historical fiction novel where the focus is on slavery in the Bahamas. The Atlantic Slave Trade was an abhorrent practice in which individuals from various African tribes were captured and/or sold into slavery where they were shipped off to other parts of the world. It wasn’t just North America where these individuals were sent; many of them ended up in the Caribbean or in South America. And, the practices of slavery in those locations were even more brutal than some of the slavery in the United States.

This narrative was an interesting look into the issues of slavery both in the Caribbean and in the U.S. alongside moments of the Enlightenment. For example, the protagonist mentions how and why he was “selected” to assist the brother of his Master who is “building” a cloud cutter (an early prototype of an air balloon). This “assignment” begins the growth of the protagonist–a young slave–as a scientist as he demonstrates enough “intellect” to come up with theories and ideas on his own, all while on the run as a fugitive slave.

I will admit that the ending is anticlimactic, yet presents some reality towards the way slaves were treated by both their masters and their caregivers. This book offers a more realistic and more grim look into how Blacks–both slaves and freemen–were treated throughout the world before the American Civil War.

This is the latest book I’ve read for this Book Club. It is a memoir about an individual who comes to terms with her unique upbringing, her father’s death and her mother’s abandonment and her stepmother’s neglect & abuse, her childhood as a biracial child, and her coping with her mental health. This was an interesting read, but it was not the “best” memoir I’ve read in some time. In fact, I strongly recommend listening to the audiobook over reading the book. In my opinion, the voice of the author comes through better when one listens to it instead of reading it.

As for the Book Club Meetup, it’s forthcoming; and, it’ll be interesting to hear what all of the participants thought about this book.

Mock Printz Workshop & ALA Printz Award Winner

I mentioned participating in the Mock Printz Award Workshop/Event with other local Teen Librarians. While this was my first time participating in this workshop, I was told that it was a rare moment when the workshop(s) selected the book which would go on to win the award from the American Library Association.

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir was a clear winner for several reasons, the main reason is that this book delves into the real life consequences of not confronting personal and family issues in a healthy manner. Their frustrations build up to where close friends and relatives end up taking the brunt of the abuse which in turn can lead to more psychological and emotional turmoil. Even when solutions to some of the issues are resolved, the relationships are damaged permanently.

It’s going to be a long while before I post my next “Library Reads” here (for reasons I’ll mention in the next one). Meanwhile, what books have you been reading for Book Clubs and/or were recommended to you by librarians?

10 thoughts on “Library Reads #2

  1. So interesting to see your review of The Ogress and the Orphans. I have a review on it scheduled and, to me, it read like a book that would appeal more to adults than children, so it’s good to see how the actual target audience responded!

    1. I plan on writing a “longer” review of “The Ogress and the Orphans” for my blog. This was a summary of what we all thought of the book. And yes, the intended message of the book is for adult readers, but its target audience is children, which demonstrates how talented the author is with her writing.

  2. That’s interesting what you said about the teen reading Carrie on Valentines day. The movie for Carrie was big when I was a teen!

  3. It’s nice you finally got your computer back! I can’t imagine how much time it must’ve taken you to write all your posts from your phone. I’ve seen The Ogress and the Orphans pop up from time to time in my feed…think I saw W&S Bookclub write a review about it a little while ago. Seems like the book has a good message for its readers.

    1. Kelly Barnhill, like many other authors, wrote A LOT during Lockdown. “The Ogress and the Orphans” was the 1st of 3 books released within a 12 month period. “When Women Were Dragons” was the 2nd, and “The Crane Husband” will be the 3rd.

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