Last week I promised that this week I would tell you why I was focusing on kid and Young Adult books. I will do that in a moment, but first, please read my most recent review, below.
I read a Young Adult novel called Shine by Lauren Myracle. A gay teen is severely beaten up and left in a coma, presumably a victim of a hate crime. This book tells the story of how the friends and the small town deal with the trauma and the intrigue (it is unknown who did the assault). A surviving friend decides to do some sleuthing. It's therefore something of a mystery "whodunit" and also just a story of friendship and soul-searching.
I liked it quite well until the end. The last chapter had the teen girl behaving too adult-like, in my opinion. Otherwise it was an engaging and page-turning story. This book stayed home with me and was not part of the book drop (yet).
Now the story of why I was busy reading kid books. First I must back up just a bit: this spring my church handed out a small bag of "stuff" to everyone. We were challenged to do a Bold Summer Adventure, using the ideas in the bag or to make up our own adventure. I decided for my Bold Adventure to hand out some free books. I wanted to read at least some of them before the book drops, so I'd have an idea of the value of the books. It's really not all that bold, but for me it was an adventure. I knew we were headed out of the state, in fact, out of the country as well, so I chose to do my Bold Adventure while traveling.
Last week we attended a family reunion in the state of Washington. I handed out my first two books there. "Handed out" is really not correct. I chose to do anonymous book drops and just hope that the books end up in the hands of kids of the appropriate age. The first one, as pictured above, was left on a coffee table in a commons area at a state park. That book was for a pre-teen or teen girl (probably) and was not a book I had read. (I hope it's good.) The next picture shows book #2, left in a dresser drawer in the room we stayed in at the state park. It just so happened that a guy came in once and asked if he could see our accommodations. He was to be staying there soon (next?) with a family group which included 12 children! So I left book #2 in a drawer there, hoping that at least one kid out of the 12 would be interested to read about "why fish fart" (most likely a boy). This is also a book I did not read.
After the reunion we headed to Canada for some plain old vacation time. Books #3 and #4 were left in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Number 3 was left on a chair in a cafeteria inside an awesome museum... that book was my favorite of the bunch ('Flora and Ulysses,' which I reviewed last week). I saw several children there. Perhaps one of them ended up with this fabulous book. Number 4 was 'because of mr. terupt' which I also reviewed last week. I left #4 outside a random apartment building in a Vancouver neighborhood which tends to contain a population of younger ages, perhaps with children (I hope so). It was raining, so I looked for a protected spot, and a ledge under an overhang at an apartment building was the perfect spot.
I took pictures of all my drop spots, but somehow lost the last two photos. Who knows where I filed them so carefully? I now can't find them. It doesn't matter, though. In all 4 books I left a little note, telling them that the book is free as part of my Bold Summer Adventure. I also made a temporary email address to which they can send a book review, if they want to. I even invited them not to use their real name so that everything can be private. I hope to hear at least one "found your book" story. If not, I'll just trust that the books end up in the right hands and that they will be appreciated.
And a quick P.S. -- I finished another book and want to include its short review. Stella Bain by Anita Shreve - I read this for a book club discussion. I almost didn't read it but chose to do so at the last minute. It takes place during WWI. The story is interesting and a quick read. The female character is too perfect, and it's a little predictable. Good for a beach read if you don't want to be overly intellectually challenged. 3 stars, which is generous.