New 2010 children's and YA books are coming in fast and furious; just when I think I have a handle on my to-be-read pile, more books come in! However, I'm still working my way through the older books in juvenile fiction, including the Newberys.
A Wrinkle in Time
This book is beloved by many (ended up as #2 on Betsy Bird's recent poll); unfortunately, not by me. I enjoyed it, but I just don't feel the love. Sorry....
The Firefly Letters
Margarita Engle returns with another fine verse novel set in Cuba. I usually don't care for stories with multiple narrators; I enjoy getting to know characters, which is difficult to do when several people are telling the story. Luckily, that's not a huge problem with Engle's books. There's so much more to Cuban history pre-1960s that we often don't read about in books, and Engle is brilliantly filling that gap. Major kudos.
I loved the Anastasia Krupnik books in my childhood; when I got to the "L" section in juvenile fiction, I immediately grabbed the first book in the series (I'm reading selections from juvenile fiction in reverse alphabetical order). What a smart, realistic, and funny series! Some details (and the cover) date the stories, but they're just as fun as ever.
I adore this book. I just love it, and it may end up being one of my favorites for 2010. Any tween/teen girl going though the trauma of orthodontics will definitely relate to this terrific book. Raina Telgemeier went through extensive orthodontic treatment after she knocked out her front teeth; she chronicles the years of braces and headgear, along with crushes, friend problems, school dances, and just to make things even more interesting, an earthquake, in this witty and moving graphic novel. Those panels of the orthodontist tightening the braces sure brought back memories, as did the awful nighttime headgear. Ugh. It also ends with a *great* positive message that's not at all preachy, which I think is very cool.
More thoughts on 2010 books will come soon!