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review 2018-10-21 06:10
Surprised me
The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Elizabeth George Speare

I was not expecting to find such a flawed, three-dimensional cast and a sad grim tone in a short, children's book. I don't know why, really, since I've come across both of those separately often enough in them (Dark Materials, Little Princess) paired with the big questions too. Specially given the fact that I've been a heavy reader since my tweens, and a firm believer in that Cabal's quote "when I want to write something that I think adults will have trouble understanding, I write children books" (I'm paraphrasing, I don't have that good a memory, and she likely borrowed too).


Here is the deal: this was way dramatic than I expected. And when I say dramatic, I mean angst, grief, homesickness, the loneliness of being an outsider. Really sad. Also maddening.


It is maddening because human nature is maddening. And because everyone, MC included, are flawed people with some good qualities and reasonable ideals and opinions and stances, and some appallingly wrong mixed in, so even with the best intentions they rub the wrong way and clash, misunderstand, work at cross-purpose. And there is always a little bitch witch shit ready to hate.


It was an interesting read even before the context of publishing-time kicks in (though I suspect there were some interesting witch-hunt related things coming out then... wasn't The Crucible a contemporary of McCarthyism too?)


At any rate, it was a really good book (totally deserves those awards), and it ended all sweet, happy and neat.


Hey! I keep missing my read for making another bingo. At this point, I'm not even pretending to curve my mood-reading. (There is also the bit where there is no magic here, but I'll let the title excuse my being misled)

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text 2018-10-21 00:17
Reading progress update: I've read 75 out of 256 pages.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Elizabeth George Speare



This is shaping as quite the bleak thing for a children's book. My compliments to the author for not shying from serious issues.


Also, I'm having some flashbacks to The Little Princess.


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review 2018-01-10 02:45
Coming of age sci-fi
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle

I'm rating this what I think my 12 years old me would have, because adult me has issues.


What was touched upon that I loved:


  • How structured education can grind on an, as Calvin calls it, uneven child.
  • That moment of realization where we find out that parents are not omnipotent, and the subsequent time were we resent them for not living up to that expectation.
  • Being equals and being the same are two different things.
  • Siblings love.


Talking generally, I really liked the descriptions. Very vivid.


My adult hang-up: More or less the same as with Narnia, though thankfully not as egregious. The religious undertones I could well have done without (hell, the three Mrs. could well be placeholders for the holy trinity, one not being corporeal, one good at communicating, one coming as quotes). I'd demote half a star for that today.

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text 2018-01-09 05:02
Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 211 pages.
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle

I've just finished "The "Tesseract" chapter, and I love how the concept was explained.


Looks like we are in for an epic with a major E


A bit later: Camazotz is "Another brick in the wall" creepy. And from this trailer that Debbie posted, it looks like the movie is getting it right.


Another chapter further: The red eyed man too! Those trailers look even better now that I can tie flashes to events *grin*

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text 2018-01-05 15:40
Reading progress update: I've read 40 out of 211 pages.
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle

Loved the introduction. Put me in mind of Pullman talking about his Dark Materials series.


The breadth of vocabulary of the characters, and the way a precocious child can struggle with structured schooling is depicted puts her writing where her mouth is, and I applaud it. Oh, and the frustration with adults! I would have loved this when I was a kid. Even more, the variety of sentiments in those adults causing the frustration, from the truly empathetic (but sometimes you want nothing but to rage) to the fake/managing ones (that kids instinctually pick up on most times).

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