chaiya: (books)
O my friends, many of whom are library geeks, I need advice. We have many YA books to add to the account. Do we file them in the overstuffed Kid Lit section of the library (in our guest room), or do we file them in the Adult Fiction section of the library? The shelves in the guest room have very little room (I'm actually pondering a cull, for the first time in a while). But the shelves in the entertainment room aren't much better, once the current set of books gets shelved. And when being visited by a 12-14 year old, will he or she want to curl up in the hammock in the Kid Lit section, knowing Nancy Drew, Winnie the Pooh, and board books are all in the same room?

Hm. There's simply no way we can fit all the Nancy Drew books anywhere else.

Okay, then, here's the real question: Do Nancy Drew, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, and Madeleine L'Engle belong together? Is it okay to put them in the Kid Lit section, alongside Winnie the Pooh and board books?

These are the things my household ponders. ;)
chaiya: (books)
I am a compulsive reader and collector of children's books. I don't necessarily have good taste in children's books when they are beloved works from my own youth (the Mode Series by Anthony Piers being one example). But when not blinded by nostalgia, I like to think that I ditch the poor ones and only keep exemplary modern ones. This one is a keeper.

White Cat is the first in a new series by Holly Black, a YA novel that is more urban fantasy than anything else. Magic in this world is hereditary, perhaps 1% of the population has it, and its practitioners are known as "curse workers." There's a lot of interesting social commentary to be had in these pages, and I read it with interest. I did have some difficulty pegging what age I'd deem this book appropriate for -- there's minor character death on-screen, no sex but some sexual situations, no drugs but coercive situations, and discussion of some complex ethical situations. The cover says ages 14 and up, but I think I'd give it to a mature 12-year-old I know.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The main character, a boy around the age of 15, is a likable ruffian. The female characters were sassy, not cowed by the powerful men in their lives. There were only really two female characters we spent much time on, as opposed to five male ones, but those two were quirky and interesting and nonstandard in practically every way. The male characters were diverse and layered, and the narrator surprised and pleased me on multiple occasions. He had a voice of honesty, even while calling himself a con man. I grew fond of him while reading this book, and intend to continue reading the series as it comes out.


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January 2015

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