The August challenge had a back to school theme, given the timing of the calendar and the start of the newest school year. Readers selected a book set in a school, magical schools permitted.
Stacie’s Selection: First Test by Tamora Pierce
My August pick was First Test by Tamora Pierce. This is a YA novel that takes place in an alternate universe that is in the middle times. The world is filled with knights, ladies, and fantastical beasts. The main character Keladry of Mindelan, is training to be a page of Tortall, aka Knight’s School. As a young female, she faces a variety of challenges as there is no precedent in Tortall for her to take the training, nor is she really welcome. The setting and other pages are much like an American middle school or high school with hazing that has overstepped its boundaries and those who don’t like Keladry taking the classes needed to be a page.
I enjoyed the book, enjoy that I read the second one in the series right away. It was a fun view of how changes can happen when leaders don’t agree with what the students want. I also enjoyed how Keladry wins over her fellow students, eventually becoming their leader in several different escapades. It’s a great title for kids. I’d go so far as to say it could be read by younger students, either out loud from their parents or a mature reader.
Bethany’s Selection: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
I wasn’t planning on picking the latest HP for this month, but then the hold came in and so I just decided to count it. Somewhere on the internet, I saw a description of this book as “fan fiction with J.K. Rowling’s blessing” and that’s pretty much what it is. Hogwarts was far less of a character in this one than it was in the original 7 books. But, it was a fun glimpse at what life might be like 19 years after Deathly Hallows. I liked how circumstances forced Harry and Draco (and their kids Albus and Scorpius) together. I liked that Hermoine was in a position suited to her. Ron was, sadly, portrayed as a doofus dad. It took me about 36 hours to read the whole script. If you’re an HP fan, it worth borrowing it, but maybe not owning it.
The September Challenge is the proverbial book with a blue cover! (This is the joke among booksellers and librarians …a patron comes in, can’t remember the title or author they are looking for but only that the book had a blue cover.)