I read books of all sorts, but mostly kids' lit and young adult literature and speculative fiction for all ages—usually from a feminist perspective.
I've adopted a personalized version of the CHOICE reviews approach to recommendations/star ratings:
***** = Essential, a.k.a. truly love, absolute must-read, buy it now
**** = Highly Recommended, a.k.a. this is a really good book; I would buy it as a gift
*** = Recommended, a.k.a. pretty good; worth reading
** = Optional, a.k.a. meh
* = Not Recommended; a.k.a. this is not a good book
Great main character, deft plot-writing, snappy dialogue, adventure, mythology, national identity politics...good choice, Newbery folks of 1996. I guess you know your stuff.
If you're lucky enough to be in a position to recommend books to kids, recommend this one to middle-graders who like Percy Jackson—the style is more sophisticated, so if they like Percy primarily for his voice, maybe not, but kids who have been introduced to the mythology via Percy J will probably like that they can recognize the Greek roots of this story. Then, if they come back and say they liked this, recommend Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain.