Not signed up for YALSA’s 2013 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since February 3 counts, so sign up now!
For some reason, despite all of the great feedback I was hearing, I dragged my feet a bit in reading Boy 21 by Matthew Quick. People on listservs were RAVING about how good it was. Boy 21 was even on YALSA’s 2013 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults List. So even though it didn’t really seem like a book that would normally appeal to me, I purposefully checked it out of the library and took it home. I would periodically stare at the cover, consider it for a moment or two, and then time and again put it back on my gigantic “to read” pile while I grabbed another more appealing title. But over this past weekend, I felt the call of Boy 21, so I finally cracked that cover and began reading…
…and I didn’t stop until I had finished the very last sentence! And then I wished it would go on even longer. (And then, if I’m being completely honest, I hugged it a bit before placing it lovingly and regretfully on my “to be returned” pile of library books.)
What makes this book so wonderful? As always, I struggle a bit trying to describe the magic of a really special book. Boy 21 is a book with fantastic male characters who are both typical and atypical for their geographic locations and experiences. It’s about basketball and astronomy, and about discovering there’s more to both then just playing the game or seeing bright lights in the sky. It’s about that one special friend who both embraces you as you are and also helps you to become more. It’s about learning to care about someone else’s life and, well, being more than your own. And it’s about discovering and valuing the things that are most important to you. In short, it’s just a really special book that I think just about any reader would enjoy.
Have any of you made a really special discovery during the reading challenge thus far?
— Nicole Dolat, currently reading Curses! Foiled Again by Jane Yolen
If you’ve completed the challenge by reading or listening to 25 titles from the list, let us know by filling out the form below. (The information you provide is what we’ll use to send you your Challenge Finisher badge, contact you about your reader’s response, and notify you if you win our grand prize drawing, so be sure to use an email address you actually check!) Do not fill out this form until you have completed the challenge by reading 25 titles
If you’re not done yet, happy reading and keep us posted on your progress! Tweet your reviews and progress with the #hubchallenge tag, and we’ll see you at next week’s check-in!