We are almost halfway through the year, and the number of young adult books read this month has been on trend with previous months -with twenty-one children’s books read, and thirteen reviews for young adult books were entered. Most of the books were different, however there was one book that had four entries – A Glasshouse of Stars by Shirley Marr. We had no repeats in Young Adult, though one or two of the books entered as Young Adult I would classify as upper middle grade or lower Young Adult – those crossover books that can fit into either category seamlessly.
It was thrilling to also see so much diversity this month, and Rebecca Bowyer has already covered in her Kid’s Corner in the diversity round up, so I’ll try not to repeat much here, though it can be hard as sometimes what I include here can have a lot of overlap in our wonderful genre roundups, so I try to find different angles to use.
For children and younger readers, I want to highlight the four reviews for A Glasshouse of Stars by Ashleigh, Nadia, Cloggie Downunder and Jess @Underground Writers. We all picked up on the presence of racism, and the trauma of moving to a new country where you don’t know the language or customs, and the way we are exposed to things we may not want to experience. As Jess said, there is no sugar coating of Meixing’s experience, which, reading through the reviews, seemed to be a common theme, and the second person narrative made the reader – whatever their background, feel this. It seems we all enjoyed this book and found something unique in it that we could all relate to or get something out of.
Denise Newton Writes reviewed the latest Jackie French book, Night Ride into Danger, and pointed out that we get a vivid sense of the work the coachmen does, as well as the hidden history in Australia that so many people don’t know about – in particular women and Indigenous people. She enjoyed the story, and the active and engaging characters.
We also had a few picture books reviewed this month. Ashleigh reviewed I Really Want a Pet by Jackie Hoskings, about a girl who wants a pet and keeps asking for the most outrageous pets – until you get to the heart-warming end and a kitten!
Now onto Young Adult, and one review that caught my eye was by Veronica Strachan of Kate Forsyth’s The Starthorn Tree. This was one that I felt has some middle grade/young adult overlap, as when I bought it years ago at Dymocks, it was in that strange, in between section where anyone from age twelve and over might find it. It’s been years since I read it so I am probably due for a reread! Veronica said that this was soothing and satisfying tor read, and that this book has everything a good fantasy needs, and I couldn’t agree more! Kate is one of those remarkable authors who seems to master everything she does.
Shelleyrae @ bookdout reviewed House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland. Like me, she found the writing lyrical in this dark, and creepy modern fairy tale-esque novel, and says it will leave you slightly off balance, which I have to agree with, as it left me deeply unsettled, and I’m debating whether I’ll be able to read it again even though I did enjoy it. Shelley commented that it is a visceral read that uses all the senses to give the reader a sense of unease, occasionally tipping into the realms of horror. I have to agree with Shelley – there was definitely something highly unsettling about this one. Perhaps the idea of how changeling children might work in a more sinister way is what did it for me.
I will aim to include more next month, but these were the standouts for me! Onto another month of reading!