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Showing posts from March, 2015

March 2015

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Sherman Alexie)I wanted to live up to expectations.

That's what it comes down to.

The power of expectations.

I hadn't heard of this book until I started looking into "Best of YA Literature" lists, and it kept popping up.  As I work in a school library, I felt it my duty to give it a blat!  

The novel follows the life of a Native American teenager who is acutely aware that he is Native American.  He is also aware of all the issues and expectations that come with this.  Arnold, or "Junior" as he is also known, lives in the "poor-ass" Spokane Indian Reservation (the "rez"), and outlines for the reader (in both written and pictorial form), the depressing reality that is his daily existence. Alcohol, violence, hardship and the complete lack of hope are the main themes, with topics discussed including (but not limited to) the potential success of his parents had they been white (teacher and musician…

March 2015

The Cardturner (Louis Sachar)Most people familiar with the YA fiction scene would know Louis Sachar for his novel Holes. There is no doubt that Sachar is a great author, and The Cardturner is no exception. Sachar manages to take a totally uncool storyline for a YA novel (playing Bridge with oldies), and create a novel that still has all the elements of YA success; best friends, romance, little sisters, annoying/embarrassing parents, and a journey of self-discovery.

Alton Richards is in his late teens and has fallen into the role of being "Cardturner" for his rich (and blind) uncle, Lester Trapp.  This is of great pleasure to Alton's mother, whose only concern seems to be to whom Uncle Lester will leave his sizable fortune. As with all rich, mysterious relatives there is always an age-old scandal to gossip about, and Alton is somewhat skeptical about having to spend time with his Uncle given "the details" of his past.  But does Alton really know the truth?

The und…