Not signed up for YALSA’s 2013 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. If you’re finished, fill out the form at the bottom of this post to let us know!
True to my own personal method of reading, I can’t bring myself to read all the books from one list and then move onto the other list. So I’ve been reading selections from both the Morris Award finalists and the Nonfiction Award finalists based on what strikes my fancy. I think I’ve made solid progress. Here’s my quick take on what I’ve been reading so far…
Morris Award (2.5/5)
I liked The Miseducation of Cameron Post, but I did not love it as much as I expected to given other reader responses. Right out of the gate I gave it two thumbs up for featuring a lesbian teen (seems like so much of the LGBTQ literature focuses on gay men). And I thought the way Cameron discovers her sexual preferences is very organic and well done, and I enjoyed her journey.
Loved, loved, LOVED Wonder Show. I had never even heard of this one before I joined this challenge, and I’m so glad I discovered it. The writing has almost a fairytale quality and flows beautifully. Portia is an extremely likeable character, and her personal journey is captivating … particularly due to the characters she encounters when she literally runs away with the traveling “freak” show. The book “had” me from start to finish.
I’m only about a third of the way into Seraphina, but I’ve really loving this one as well. I’ve always been a huge fan of fantasy, and I was ready for a fresh take on dragon lore. Magnificent world-building in this one, and another heroine I really enjoy.
Nonfiction Award (3/5)
We’ve Got a Job was a very good read and really gave me some better insight about the daily struggles of Americans during the Civil Rights Movement. I expected the writing vehicle of focusing on the stories of four young adults to be more prevalent, and was a little disappointed that the discussion edged more toward a broader/generic perspective. But interesting history to explore for sure.
As I suspected, Bomb really surprised me in a very good way. It’s not subject matter I would normally be interested in reading about, but this book was beyond fascinating — the people, the making of the bomb, the espionage! Really amazing storytelling.
Titanic: Voices from the Disaster was just as engaging as I imagined it would be. I’ll have more of a review on this on a post later this month.
What are your picks/favorites at this point?
–Nicole Dolat, currently reading both Seraphina and Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95
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