My third-last Saturday! Sniff! Today I bring you short chapter books.
As I said before, I picked this up initially because it reminded me of a friend’s nickname. Partly my love of it comes from my love of this friend and her ridiculously erudite brother, but mostly it is a feast of dry humour and warm affection. I am compelled to read it whenever I see it.
This is the last book of the Series of Unfortunate Events. (In this way, I compel you to read the whole series! Mwahahaha.) This series is one of my favourite of all time, adult books included. They’re so unrelentingly comic; every sentence, it seems, makes me laugh. Also, the arcs of this series really impressed me. Each book brings a new trial for the Baudelaires to overcome, but there’s also a larger mystery to be solved: who killed their parents, and what is VFD? The conclusion of the series is altogether bittersweet, but in the best way imaginable. Hey, don’t say Snicket didn’t warn you there would be melancholy.
Oh, Mordecai. All the Jacob Two-Two books are comic classics, but I especially like this one because we get to interact a bit more with Jacob Two-Two’s dad (The Man Himself, of course). The layers of satire are thick and delicious like a well-made rugelach.
I already gave this one a glowing review here, but of course it must have its place in this list. The prose is sublime, the characters charming, the lessons poignant; it is at once just like a number of familiar fairytales and completely unique. A must-read for fantasy fans of all ages.
I mentioned last week that I got three new books which had come in for me. This was one of them. Noah Barleywater is eight years old, and it is time (he feels) for him to seek his fortune. As he progresses through the villages along his path, he meets a number of interesting characters, including an old man in a very odd toy shop. As his journey continues, Noah is forced to confront the real reason he’s left home… With allusions to classic fairytales like Pinocchio, Noah Barleywater is at once familiar and totally unique. (Also, it is an upstanding example of temporal dramatic unity in the fairytale genre. Read it, you’ll see what I mean.) Noah himself is a charmer. Add Oliver Jeffers illustrations, and you have yourself a classic.
Next week: YA, installment 1. Also, hopefully, a review of The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens.