Bone Gap, by Laura Ruby
I really loved Ruby’s 13 Doorways and this one had a lot of buzz when it won the Printz award. Finally got around to reading it. It is a beautiful book. It starts a bit slow but that allows you to get really invested in the characters. The story is about beauty—what is, what isn’t, who is, who isn’t—and what it means when someone has no concept of facial beauty. The story follows Finn and Roza. Roza showed up at Finn and Sean’s house one stormy night and brought joy to their lives for a short time before she was kidnapped. Finn witnessed her kidnapping but couldn’t identify the attacker. No one believes him and think that Roza has run off. Roza is, in fact, being held against her will. It’s up to Finn to find a way to bring her home. Highly recommend this book.
Meddling Kids, by Edgar Cantero
As you may be able to tell by the title, this is a take on Scooby Doo. Thirteen years ago, a group of kids solved a mystery surrounding a house in the middle of a lake in Oregon. The kids were famous locally for uncovering mysteries involving the supernatural, which always turned out to be a man in disguise. Now, all grown up, the “kids” have different problems. Yet, they all seem to stem from their famous last case. They return to the small Oregon town to face up to what happened years before. This turned out to be an eldritch horror story with humor and chills. The author’s writing often got a bit “purple” but overall I had a lot of fun with the story.
The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
Classic! Norton Juster died last month. I’d been thinking about rereading his seminal work, so it seemed like perfect timing (plus, someone left a copy in my Little Free Library so I didn’t have to go searching for my copy). This book is brilliant. Silly and serious with word play that Shakespeare would be jealous of. Always worth a read.
Star Wars: A Crash of Fate, by Zoraida Cordova
A young adult novel set in Black Spire Outpost—the place where Disneyland’s Star Wars area is meant to be—this was an OK read. There wasn’t much action and was more of a romance/longing to belong story. The plot of was decent and if you’re into Star Wars, it’s worth a read. [This lackluster review is not meant to reflect poorly on the author. I really like her own stories.]
Monstrous Regiment, by Terry Pratchett
This was the first Discworld novel I read 20-ish years ago. I enjoyed it the first time having absolutely no context for the recurring characters. Now, it was probably better than the first time. It follows Polly, who disguises herself as a boy to enlist in the army of Borogravia, a small, rural country that is constantly at war with its neighbors. Polly enters the regiment managed by Sargent Jackrum, an almost mythical soldier who has seen all the major action for the last fifty years. There is a lot more gender-bending than just Polly, though, and this regiment of the unusual has the key to winning the war. Another can’t miss Discworld novel.
Space Dumplins, by Craig Thompson
A middle-grade graphic novel that I read years ago when it came out. I reread it in anticipation of sending a copy to my friend’s boys. Super fun space story. There are space whales that devour whole planets, yet their poop is the source of energy for all beings. Young Violet gets caught up in a plot where scientists have given a whale severe diarrhea that is causing havoc in space. Her dad is a trucker stuck in the catastrophe, so Violet and her friends set out to find and save him. Weird, silly fun. Perfect for young readers (and me).