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

"In the stories we seem to remember most, we’re given a certain set of ingredients to start us off, and then we’re let loose to build on them and let them affect us and use what we know and what we’ve felt, and we tie the whole experience together into one thing, without a separation between what the story gave us and what we ourselves brought to it."



Illustrator and author Jon Klassen's acceptance speech at the Boston Globe-Horn Book awards talks about the evocative power of picture books, to allow the reader to construct long-lasting memories that draw as much, or more, from what exists beyond the page as on it. It's well worth a read.