Monday, February 14, 2022

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/12/21

Four books from the library this week, and these are they:

Aster and the Mixed-Up Magic, by Thom Pico and Karensac. I got this one, and realized that it's actually the second book. I think it was linked in some end-of-year round-up, which may be why I heard about it and not the previous book, but, however it happened, I had this one in hand, had at least a vague reason to want to read it, but wanted to find the previous book first.

It's some kind of book-for-younger-readers - my guess is middle-grade, but I'll have to read it to be sure - and it seems to be about a kid who has magic. I'm not sure if it's our world, a fantasy world, or something more baroque.

And I'm holding off reading it until I can get the first one, but the library only lets me keep books three weeks...oh, golly! whatever will I do?

Aster and the Accidental Magic, by Thom Pico and Karensac. Oh, look! The library system also had the previous book, and got it to me within a few days of my request. The modern world is pretty awesome sometimes, particularly when you ask for something free and get it almost immediately. When that something is a book, it's downright magical.

Again, you might want to know what the books are about, but I haven't read them yet, so I'm vague on that. But I'm pretty sure they're magical-kid stories for tweens (maybe slightly younger than that), and I would not be surprised if they are more diverse than the similar books of my own youth. (I read a lot of books about sad rich white kids - that might partly have been me, but I think it was a massive genre in the '70s for no obvious reason.)

The Thud by Mikael Ross. This is another book that I chased down because it was on someone's Best-of-2021 list. (Or I'm pretty sure that's why. Hey, we all add things randomly to our Books-I-Want-to-Read lists, and do we care that much why or how? No: we want to read more good stuff, and details sometimes just slow that down.) As I understand it, this is fiction - aimed at a YA audience - but based fairly closely on real people and the real town they live in; the story is made-up but the moments are probably mostly based on reality. In Germany, there's a town called Neuerkrode which is largely populated by people with developmental disabilities - our teenage hero goes to live there after his mother has an accident. This is, I gather, the story of how he comes to find a life there.

The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess by Tom Gauld. Because of the oddities of scheduling and timing, I've already read this and just wrote a post about it right before starting to type here. So I can either repeat myself or write something totally different...or, maybe, just stick to the factual this time. This is a fairy tale in picture-book form, Gauld's first book for younger readers (Hey! I've got a theme: I didn't pick books for younger readers on purpose, but that's what came in from the library.) and it's very Gauldian and very good.

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