Monday, November 22, 2010

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This book is a nominee for the Volunteer State Book Award. Megan Lee book-talked it at our November meeting; she was so good, it made me wish she had been my teacher in high school (even though she's about my age!). I had thought about reading it, but Natalie Crowson kicked me into over-drive when she emailed that she wanted to discuss it with me; she'll be here over Christmas, so I knew I had to get on it!
This book is set in the future when the United States has become Panem. Panem is divided into 12 districts. Each district must send 2 tributes to fight in the Hunger Games every year (think Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery"). This is the story of Katniss Everdeen and her role in this year's Hunger Games. This book has a strong female protagonist, lots of action, and brief glimmers of romance (post if you get the allusion!).
Fun Times as a Librarian: I read this book in about a week. I had checked out all 3 of our books (this is a trilogy) and taken them home in preparation for the Thanksgiving break. A boy came in last Wednesday and asked for Catching Fire. I told him it was checked out but I would order it from the public library. I brought the book back the next day. When I took it to him right before his lunch break, he was surrounded by kids leaving gym for Christmas. When I handed it to him, he smiled and said, "YES!" A friend near him said, "Is that the 2nd one?" It was just a great moment in librarian-ing to place the book a student wanted in his hands and see him (and others) excited about it.
My prediction (for Natalie mostly): I think Katniss will end up with Gale and Peeta will end up with Prim. I don't think Peeta really loves Katniss, just the idea of her over all of these years. Think Little Women with the Jo-Laurie-Amy thing. Don't tell me! I'm just tossing my ideas around.
VSBA Vote: This is fabulous! I finally like one better than The Black Box! Still, the black box was great! I'm not sure how I feel about publishers shoving fantasy on us. Repeat after me: You will buy fantasy and vampire stories, you will buy fantasy and vampire stories, you will...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fawn by Robert Newton Peck

I found this book while weeding the collection a few weeks ago. It was on the list of books older than 20 years. I set it aside to take home for Dad because of the Mohawk brave on the cover. When I opened it to look at the copyright date (1975), I read this inscription on the facing page:
To the Black Watch who bled there.
To the Mohawk who starved there.
To the old man who saw me skin the rabbit."
This may seem a bizarre transcription to most, but to me and Susan, it fits right in with our Outlander series.
This book moved very slowly to me. It is character driven except the character seems so strange (stereotypical Native American) and solitary. I had a hard time getting into this and could only read about 10 pages a night.
Question: Do you think Native Americans and ancient Egyptians were really as austere as they are portrayed to be?
Weird: Check out Peck's weird bio on Wikipedia. See who was his best man at his wedding.
Up Next: Natalie Crowson asked me today if I have read The Hunger Games trilogy. I confess I haven't, though Megan Lee book-talked it well at last Thursday's book club meeting. The first book (The Hunger Games) is a nominee for this year's Volunteer State Book Awards, so this book will satisfy my book club quota for the month. Now, I must find a way to get all 3 books in the trilogy back in the library for myself before the Thanksgiving break!