Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Camel Bookmobile

The Camel BookmobileThe Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton

On the library stacks: Adult fiction
AR Reading Level: 5.9
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Fiona Sweeney is a thirty-something living in New York who wants to make a difference. She travels to Africa to deliver books to remote villages by...camel bookmobile, of course. There is a problem in her favorite village, Mididima, when a disfigured boy from the village refuses to return his library books. Under the bookmobile rules, the village can no longer receive books if they are not all returned.

The controversy in Mididima is much more deep rooted than just a couple of missing books. The villagers are facing a serious drought. Some of them fear the new values brought into the village, represented by the books. They believe that sticking to traditional values will keep them safe. Others live for the bookmobile's arrival, yearning for knowledge and the expansion of their worldview.

As a trained librarian, I had such high hopes for this book. I liked that the story was told from multiple characters' perspectives. But I also felt that the jumping around made it difficult to truly flesh out any one character. I found Fiona difficult to like, even though I was rooting for her success as a librarian the whole book. The ending might have been realistic, but it also made me kind of sad.

Check out the real story behind the book here.

Also reviewed by: So Many Books, So Little Time ~ Book Clutter
Source: BookMooch

Monday, October 1, 2012

Code Name Verity

Code Name VerityCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

On the library stacks: YA Fiction
AR Reading Level: 6.5

This book is getting a lot of great press, so my book club chose it for our September read. It is the story of two girls who become best friends during World War II. Maddie is pilot who drops her friend Verity off in France for a mission and then crashes her plane. Verity is a spy who gets apprehended by the Gestapo.

This book is the hardest book for me to rate and review this year. There were things about it I really loved and then other things I really didn't love. I found it incredibly slow reading. I seemed to shut down while I was reading it and I didn't have a strong desire to pick it back up. But, the writing was really phenomenal. So phenomenal in fact, that the whole story gave me nightmares.

I think the story just got a little overwhelming for me. (The author does admit at the end that it got a little out of hand.) While it is theoretically possible, the story just isn't really plausible for the time period. But it includes a lot of great elements that make it a compelling tale. I just have really mixed feelings about it.

Also reviewed by: Becky's Book Reviews ~ J'adorehappyendings ~ Gerbera Daisy Diaries ~ Book Nut ~ A Work in Progress ~ Diary of an Eccentric ~ My Friend Amy ~ Emily's Reading Room ~ Bloggin' 'bout Books ~ Thoughts of Joy... ~ It's All About Books ~ Ms. Yingling Reads ~ Capricious Reader ~ things mean a lot
Source: Library