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As usual, I read a lot of kid books, many of them supplied by my dealer, Elizabeth, who has me hooked. She loaned me Flora Segunda, a great book about a girl who has the spunk and drive to be an adventurer. Secrets get told and parents who have issues with kids reading about parents who aren’t perfect might want to read the book first to see if they are uncomfortable with what happens.

She also loaned me The Princess and the Hound. It’s a great story about discrimination and about loving people for who they are. I love stories where legends or tales intersect reality, so this one gets thumbs up on that account as well. There are sequels… I must check them out…

Two books by Diana Wynne Jones found their way to me and then, sadly, back to Elizabeth (this is the problem with borrowing books: they have to go home eventually.). Dark Lord of Derkholm made me laugh. Loveable eccentric families get me every time. The bad guys are excellent. Parents who are not sure about GMOs might find some of the creatures troubling. Cart and Cwidder was a terrific spy tale that reminded me of Lloyd Alexander’s Westmark series.

Hilary McKay has done the impossible: she has written a sequel to A Little Princess that didn’t make me want to throw it across the room. It’s a dangerous business, writing sequels to beloved books, but she managed. Not going to be treasured as close to my heart as the original, but still well done. Check out Wishing for Tomorrow.

Thanks to Elizabeth, I now also know that Shannon Hale is a person whose writing I need to read more. The Goose Girl and Book of 1000 Days charmed me. This is what fairy tales are supposed to be like, unless you are Bruno Bettelheim (although his analysis is interesting…). Strong women, goodness rewarded, happily ever after.

Finally, she loaned me Dragon Slippers. The beginning made me laugh out loud, which caused T. to be interested. Sadly, the humor couldn’t make up for the fact that a whole lot of the book is about dresses, at least for him. I finished it alone. I do not need to rush out and get the sequels, but girly girls might find the adventure more palatable with so many ribbons on it.

I continue to keep up with the doings of the Mysterious Benedict Society. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma kept me entertained. I love the idea of the smartest kids as the heroes, particularly since each kid has a different strength and they have to work together to get stuff done.

Next up: books for grown-ups.

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