Jenny's Library

Reading Round-up 2013: Week 16

Posted on: October 24, 2013

cover image for DogsDogs by Emily Gravett

Do you love dogs? I love dogs.  All kinds of dogs. Big ones, little ones. Slow dogs and fast dogs.  And so does our narrator – who isn’t quite what you expect!

Using opposites and her signature humorous style, Emily Gravett shows us a wide variety of pooches to admire and delight over.  As wonderful as the canines themselves are, it’s the surprise at the end that gives Dogs that extra something that makes Gravett’s books so memorable.

cover image for Igraine the BraveIgraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke

All Igraine has ever wanted to be was a knight.  Instead, she’s stuck with a family of magicians.  Her parents don’t discourage her hopes, but they really wish she’d pay more attention to her magical studies.  But when Osmund the Greedy shows up at the castle door right after a failed spell turned both her parents (temporarily) into pigs, will it be up to Igraine to save the day?

This book and I did not click, at all.  I don’t know if it was the book or me, but I just kept wanting it to all be over.  If it was a longer book, I wouldn’t have bothered to finish it.

cover image for Moneky and MeMonkey and Me by Emily Gravett

A little girl and her stuffed monkey pretend to be all kinds of animals.  What will they be next?  Turn the page and see!  But watch out, because all this jumping and swinging around makes little girls very tired…

Monkey and Me isn’t quite as witty as some of Gravett’s other books, but it’s playfulness and repetitive structure make it perfect for little ones.

cover image for Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your AssYaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina

One morning, out the blue, a classmate tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, much less why she wants to fight Piddy.  The first thing Piddy quickly learns as she searches for answers – and a way out – is that Yaqui Delgado is not someone you want to as an enemy.

As more teen fiction novels about bullying are published, I’m becoming more critical of them.  Thankfully, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass is very well done.  It shows just how damaging bullying can be, and talks about why victims are hesitant to ask adults for help.  It also – to a certain extent – centers the bullying Piddy experiences within the larger violence that’s done to teens and their communities, an aspect of bullying that needs more adult attention.

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