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Showing posts from July, 2012

"A Confusion of Princes" by Garth Nix

Early in my reading of A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix, I said, oh, this is a poor man's version of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game--less violent, less anguishing, far simpler. And now that I've finished it, I'm going to stick to that assessment.Somewhat. That's not to say it isn't a good story or that it is a retelling of Ender's Game. It is a good story, for what it is. And it really isn't Ender's Game. For, alas, it lacks passion and dramatic conflict.

Prince Khemri is one of the chosen leaders for the empire and he has been raised in isolation under special circumstances: His body and his mind have been enhanced. He is, truly, faster, smarter, and stronger than other humans. Of course, there are thousands of other "princes" just like him, especially selected to rule the empire. Once Khemri is old enough, he's put into training with other princes (and here's where the book is similar to Ender's Game). But something …

"One for the Murphys" by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

I have a little wish: I would like novelists writing for children to stop making the kids sound older than they are.

I read One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt last night and really like it. As I tweeted when I finished it, the book has a tough ending. It makes perfect sense and it's not a totally sad ending, but it's a bit heart-breaking to those of us who want a super-happy-ending, especially for this book's particular protagonist. It made me cry.

Carley Connors is foster child -- her mom is recovering from severe abuse delivered by her husband (Carley's step-dad). She's never been in foster care before, but she has known hardship as she and her mother lived on next to nothing in Las Vegas. Now in Connecticut, Carley is taken in by a loving woman who has a husband and three sons. The Murphys aren't perfect by any means and not all of them want Carley in their family, but by the end of the book, something better than a mere co-existence has formed. The …