With much of the country still in lockdown in September, I again wondered what the reading trends for this category would be. For children and younger readers, we had seventeen books, and for young adult readers, there were seven – so based on trends from the past two years of pandemic, it seems as if books aimed at readers twelve and under have been the most popular – and one can only speculate on why. I may leave that for my year end post, however.
So, with so many reviews, it was hard again to narrow down which ones to include. Often I find the most reviews in children and younger readers come from me, and a few other regulars. Sometimes we read the same books or have read books that have already been featured in other round ups.
One I’d like to highlight is a review from Whispering Gums, a reviewer who rarely reviews kids’ books. Whispering Gums reviewed Where the Heart Is by Irma Gold, and said that she made an exception as she knew the author from her other work for adults. Whispering Gums says the magic is in the simple language that isn’t condescending – which is what is important in kids’ books. Overall, Whispering Gums enjoyed this book.
The second book I’d like to highlight for this audience is my review of Dragon Skin by Karen Foxlee, which is a story about saving a dragon and your family – and in the process, finding a strength that you never knew you had. Karen Foxlee’s books always tug at the heartstrings, and Dragon Skin is no exception – it is a very powerful book, with layers to peel back and be explored over many readings. It celebrates friendship – where we find it, and what it means to find friends in ways that we least expected. This beautiful story can also be enjoyed by young adult readers, so in a way, crosses over from middle grade into lower young adult.
I’ve chosen to highlight two in each, and the first for young adult is a review by author participant, Kate Forsyth – A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty, which Kate says is extraordinarily beautiful, and she loved the quirky, humorous style that we know Jaclyn Moriarty for. She says it is one of the most original fantasy books she has read and that she loved it!
Cloggie Down Under read and reviewed Social Queue by Kay Kerr – one I am yet to get and read. Kay’s books explore diversity, disability, and autism – and show that there are many ways that these things can manifest in different people. Cloggie loved the authenticity of Kay’s characters sparked by Kay’s own experiences with autism, and what needs to be done widely to teach people how to interact with the disability community. Like Cloggie, I believe these stories are important to understand the wider world, and everyone within it – and their differences. These stories allow us to explore things we’re unfamiliar with and hopefully, come to some sort of understanding.
Good luck for October, all!