Book reviews...from picture books to adult books, as well as books-to-movie info, and other stuff I think is interesting. Note: Not all books reviewed or recommended are appropriate for all ages.
APRIL 19, 2010
He Forgot to Say Goodbye
I just read an excellent book by writer and poet Benjamin Alire Saenz: He Forgot to Say Goodbye. This novel alternately tells the story of Jake and Ramiro, two teenage boys whose fathers had each abandoned their families years earlier.
The guys have a lot of differences between them: Jake is rich, Ramiro is poor; Jake is white, Ramiro is Latino; Jake is an only child, Ramiro has a very troubled brother, Tito. However, the loss each of these narrators feels in having fathers who walked out is very similar, and later on in the book when both are dealing with new family problems, their paths intersect and they become friends. They also share a friendship with Alejandra, an outspoken girl who Ramiro has grown up with.
I think that readers who liked Looking for Alaska or I Am the Messenger (two of my favorites!) would really like this book..I can picture Miles (Alaska), Ed (Messenger), and the guys from He Forgot to Say Goodbye sitting around hanging out.
My only complaint about this otherwise excellent book is that the cover art is really misleading...there is no young child in the story....and from the recollections by Jake and Ramiro of their own absent fathers....the picture doesn't seem to fit at all.
I just finished The Shifter by Janice Hardy, the first book in The Healing Wars series #1. In the community where Nya lives, the conquering Duke has made life very difficult for Geveg residents, especially orphans like Nya and her sister Tali.
Nya is relieved that Tali has been accepted into the Healers' League, but Nya still has to struggle to survive. Even though she shares her sister's healing gift, Nya is different. She is not able to take pain and pour it into pynvium, but has a dangerous ability that she must keep hidden: she is able to shift pain from one person to another.
As Nya learns more about what is going on at the League, she finds that her abilities are even more complicated than she realized. She is faced with some tough choices that challenge ideas about right and wrong, forcing her to explore just how far she will push herself to save those she cares about.
The new How to Train Your Dragon movie is based on the book by Cressida Cowell (or, if you believe the cover of the book by Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III). This is the first in a series of books. The library has the first book in both print and audio, as well as others in the series. Also on order for younger kids are beginning readers based on the movie.