One of my booksellers, Sarah, from Mosaic Books
in Kelowna, BC sent me a couple of book reviews. She
had written one and her daughter Carolyn another.
Here’s Sarah’s review of I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora:
“Perfect summer (or anytime) read for bookworms! Set over the
course of one summer, three friends hatch a clever plan to get
everyone reading To Kill a Mockingbird as a tribute to their
beloved teacher. Creating a movement through social media
will inspire and empower young social activists.
9781250068088 $7.99 pb Square Fish (Raincoast)
Here’s Carolyn’s fantastic review of The Girl Who Fell Beneath
Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne Valente:
When reading a sequel, you must ask yourself two questions:
how does this book function as a separate story from the
previous installments, and how does it function within a series?
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There is
a delightful book on its own as well as a novel that pulls the
reader deeper into Valente’s crafted world and expands what
we thought we knew of its mechanics.
In this lovely story, we learn of a Fairyland-Below, a new country
that lies beneath Fairyland-Above, where the first book took place.
We meet new creatures, old enemies and old friends (and shadows
of old enemies and old friends.) We also get a taste of September
in the ‘real’ world, in Nebraska. In the first book, she is whisked away
on the first page, leaving behind her home and thinking little of it
once in Fairyland. We see more of her in Nebraska in this book,
an interesting element introduced by Valente to anchor the story
to a tangible place and give it credibility and believability. September
mature more in this book, and the third book in the series seems
to lead towards even more maturity and understanding of the
cruelties and realities of her world and Fairyland. The most magical
thing that Valente does in this book is the reversal of characters.
Some friends are not true friends while enemies reveal themselves
to be allies in the end.
An important lesson for young readers to learn, that history does
not always dictate future behaviour.
Because The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own
Making was written serially online, this sequel feels different in its
construction and organization. Plot lines are more likely to play
out over multiple chapters rather than in an episodic nature like
that of the first book. I found the first book to be more whimsical
and dreamy than the second, which is darker and more mature
and mysterious. The only place I felt this was less enchanting
than the first book was its loss of the fanciful, charming tone. This
was replaced of course with a deeper, darker feeling, which I
enjoyed, but a bit less than the whimsy.
Themes of longing and wanting, consent, and regret are
prevalent in the text, other significant points that the author
presents to young readers. September is of course strong and
independent but also shows her loneliness and vulnerability
when her friends betray her and it seems she has no one to
trust in the Underworld. If you have read The Girl Who
Circumnavigated Fairyland and are on the fence about
reading further in the series, get your head checked!
The first installment was a beautifully crafted masterpiece
and this sequel does not disappoint!
9781250034120 $8.99 pb Square Fish (Raincoast)
Have a great weekend!