Without fail, all of the “How To Be a Better Writer” books agree on one thing – if you want to write well, read a lot of good books. I love advice that I actually WANT to follow. Because I have a 5th grader, I thought it would be fun for us to read some books together, some that I’ve enjoyed, some that she’s heard about from school friends, etc. So I recently downloaded/bought/borrowed the following titles for our summer reading pleasure:
My daughter is too young for most YA, but I think I’ll sneak off and read Eleanor & Park:
KIRKUS REVIEW – Eleanor & Park
Awkward, prickly teens find deep first love in 1980s Omaha.
Eleanor and Park don’t meet cute; they meet vexed on the school bus, trapped into sitting together by a dearth of seats and their low social status. Park, the only half-Korean fan of punk and New Wave at their high school, is by no means popular, but he benefits from his family’s deep roots in their lower-middle-class neighborhood. Meanwhile, Eleanor’s wildly curly red mane and plus-sized frame would make her stand out even if she weren’t a new student, having just returned to her family after a year of couch-surfing following being thrown out by her odious drunkard of a stepfather, Richie. Although both teens want only to fade into the background, both stand out physically and sartorially, arming themselves with band T-shirts (Park) and menswear from thrift stores (Eleanor). Despite Eleanor’s resolve not to grow attached to anything, and despite their shared hatred for clichés, they fall, by degrees, in love. Through Eleanor and Park’s alternating voices, readers glimpse the swoon-inducing, often hilarious aspects of first love, as well as the contrast between Eleanor’s survival of grim, abuse-plagued poverty and Park’s own imperfect but loving family life.
Funny, hopeful, foulmouthed, sexy and tear-jerking, this winning romance will captivate teen and adult readers alike. (Fiction. 14 & up)
And most importantly, when we’re done, we’ll review them to show our appreciation for the authors, and to help other folks know what’s good.
In case there’s anyone alive who doesn’t already know about A Wrinkle in Time.