Friday, May 25, 2007

Recent Reads

Ha! 2 books that I read this month! In fact, 1 of them I read this week!

Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee

I have been accused of being anal retentive, an over-achiever, and a compulsive perfectionist, like those are bad things.

Millicent Min is a genius. It's not that she's just really smart, but certifiably a genius--she's going to be a senior in high school and has started taking classes at the local college. She's 11. She's also lonely--she's in a lot of extra-curriculars at school, but she doesn't have friends. Even in her college class, the other students don't see her as an equal and resent her presence. Other kids her age don't know how to relate to her.

Millicent's mother signed her up for volleyball this summer to try and give her daughter a "normal" childhood. At volleyball, she meets Emily. Emily seems to like her, so Millicent doesn't tell her how smart she is. She wants Emily to see her as a normal kid. As long as she can keep they lies straight, she'll be OK, right?

Lisa Yee has a great character in Millie, who, socially, is a little behind her peers even she's light years ahead of them academically. She's hilarious as she tried to navigate her new friendship with Emily, and friendships are complicated, no matter how smart you are. Yee has written several very believable characters and Millicent is extremely likable. I'm looking forward to reading Stanford Wong Flunks Big-time and So Totally Emily Ebers.

Other blog reviews: Miss Erin, Elizabeth O. Dulemba, The Tired Reader

Rickshaw Girlby Mitali Perkins

So, usually for a book to "count" as part of my have-read list, it has to be at least 100 pages OR have a quality I can't define but call "deep impact". The Big Wave is one such book.

Everyone's already reviewed this one and you other kidlit bloggers are probably familiar with Mitali as she's a frequent commentor and fellow blogger. (How did I NOT know she wrote Monsoon Summer? That's been on my to-read list forever!)

Anyway, I was really excited when this came into the library, because I'm a big fan of Mitali's blog-comments. But then I got really paranoid, because what if I didn't like it? I've told myself I'm going to review every book that I read here, and so I would but I really like Mitali and OH! THE AGONY!

But all the worry was for naught, because I did like it. And it has that elusive "deep impact" even though it's under 100 pages.

So, this is set in modern-day Bangladesh. Naima's father is a rickshaw driver that never gets a rest. She wishes she was a boy, so she would be allowed to help out. She comes up with several grand plans and schemes to possibly help and complications ensue.

I was really intrigued by the turn this book took in the end, because who would've thunk that you could so effectively introduce the concept of micro-finance to the middle-reader set?

Also, the pictures not only perfectly compliment, but really add to the story.

Check out other reviews at: My Blog, Fuse #8, Planet Esme, Phantom Scribbler, Brookeshelf, Info Dad, Readers Rants,

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