books and cleverness

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


Jinx - I just saw that someone else referenced Diana Wynne Jones in his/her review--agreed, and I would throw in perhaps a little smidge of Pratchett, too (the butter churns, for some reason). In other words, I liked it. Nice use of classic fairy tale tropes throughout.