Sunday, August 14, 2016

August afternoons

Giant days, vol. I, by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, Whitney Cogar, and assorted others who are not listed on the front cover, only the title page.  What... is this?  Why is this "critically acclaimed?"  The art is nice enough, and the characters are distinct and likeable, but it doesn't really do anything.  It is mostly a random assortment of non-connected events in the lives of a small group of college friends.  The book refers so heavily to events that took place before the start of this GN that I kept eyeing the "volume one" notation dubiously.  The events the girls experience are run-of-the-mill sorts of things, and the ones that have the potential to be life-changing or character-building aren't examined in enough detail or given quite that much weight.  Why bother with the story?  It adds nothing to my life as a reader.

Lost! On a mountain in Maine by Donn Fendler; read by Amon Purinton.  (974.125)  The cover image specifies "by Donn Fendler, as told to Joseph B. Egan," and I'm not sure what that means.  The Wikipedia article makes it sound like a co-author, like for a celebrity or something.

I downloaded a couple of  audiobooks for a long drive, just the boy and I, were taking today and this was the first one I played on the way out of town.  I had picked it out of what showed up among OverDrive's currently-available Juvenile audiobooks because the boy has been somewhat fixated on survival stories this summer, since he got into Gordon Korman's "Island" survival series-- he picked the first one as his SRP prize, and gobbled up the others.  The "Everest" books were also well-liked.  (I have been trying to get him into survival books in general, as they were a particular favorite of mine when I was young, for the last year or more, and Gordon Korman in particular over the last six months.  This cannot be pointed out, because the idea that Mom, a librarian and avid reader, could be right on this matter is blasphemous.)

I enjoyed this on the drive, and my son *loves* it.  He wanted to leave the beach earlier than anticipated in order to get back into the car to listen to it, and we are all now listening to it, sitting in the living room.  A second read-- it's true love.

The writing is approachable for kids, but has a nice older style-- simple enough sentence structure, frequent use of things like "fellow" and "queer" and "fool," and regional terms, too-- sounding like an old neighbor or uncle's storytelling style.  I was pretty impressed with the young reader; he's a natural.  The overlay of sound effects underneath the narration is a very nice touch, especially, I think, for the intended age group (grades 4-8); it is used not too frequently so it's a nice addition instead of being a constant.

The boy's opinion is that it is "great."  His favorite part was the leeches, or, for a direct quote, "when the bloodsuckers suck him."  The news that there is a graphic novel adaptation created quite a stir.

I would have like to know some more information to round out the story, like how far he went while he was lost, or more specifically when and where everything happened instead of "generic northeastern woods," but, with only general prompting, the boy states nothing was lacking from story.

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