Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Sunday Salon: What We Read, Said & Wrote

Welcome to The Sunday Salon. Over the weekend stop by to get a recap of the week's postings.

What I finished this week was Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis. I'm surprised there aren't more reviews about this fantastic YA novel. It's about family, bridging generational and sibling divides, the Women's Army Corp, family secrets, acceptance and tolerance. It requires real skill to employ alternating narrators. Adding alternating time frames could be confusing, but not here. Davis moves the reader through the past and present as easily as changing lanes. Not once did I feel as if I missed a stop on the trip. If you like armchair travel, historical novels or you have some grandbabies and you'd enjoy sharing part of history with them take a cue from Mare. Seriously, I'm thinking my youngest and I will take a road trip next summer. When I was a child, I took road trips with my favorite aunt. My sister and I were younger. We had no clue where we were going, how long it would take, but those details didn't matter. Traveling with my aunt was always a good time. For Tali and Tave, they are unconvinced a good time is to be had. Between the bickering and sucking teeth, I laughed my way along a good time and happily waited for the teens to figure out the trip was worthwhile. There are postcards between chapters which round out Octavia's and Tali's characters. The secondary characters in Mare's narrative are fully developed, too.

This work was right on time for me. Mare reminds me of my grandmother in style and attitude, and Mare's relationship with her sister Feen resonates with me. Like Mare, I was fiercely protective of my sister. Mare's War gave me all the fantasy and realism I want in a family story and in terms of a historical novel, this work gave me so much more than the average historical novel for young people. Like *Christopher Paul Curtis, Davis weaves history with family matters. She renders history intimate, personal for the reader. If we, parents could pass on history and heritage like Tanita does through Mare to our children, I think they'd be more interested. They'd feel more connected to their history and have a sense of pride about whom they are. Well done, Ms. Davis. Looking forward to reading more from you.

Apologies To An Apple by Maya Ganasen. 2009.
Got poetry? If you think poetry can only be esoteric or an intellectual exercise, check out Maya Gansesan's, "Invitation." This young poet has both talent and skill. She reminds us how accessible poetry can be.

Beauty was the topic this week. Check out Tarie's review of The Fold and this week's CO quiz on South Asian YA novels for another look at beauty standards.

So how's your relationship with your mother-in-law? Find comic relief with Camile's article, "The Colonel Can Kiss My....." Camile is a hot mess and I'm crazy about her for it.

Our Reading Rocks! Challenge got off to a great start: thirty books checked out the first day. In fact, we checked out thirty books in roughly thirty minutes. It was crazy but you can believe I was not letting anyone who wanted a book leave the library empty-handed. We had another good week with the mail. To see what we've shelved recently check our NewCrayons post every Sunday. Find great multicultural literature for children, YA and adults. And tell us what you got new. Drop a link with Mr. Linky.

How was your week? What have you read lately?

*Christopher Paul Curtis YA historical novels include: The Watsons' Go To Birmingham, Bud, Not Buddy and Elijah Buxton.


Anonymous said...

What a success with your Reading Rocks! Challenge! Congratulations!!!

Zetta Elliott said...

It's been weeks since I finished Mare's War and I'm *still* thinking about it...great book. And congrats on the reading challenge--30 books in 30 minutes = hours of reading for your girls...excellent!

tanita davis said...

Wow, I've heard a few folks say this one reminded them of family. So glad you enjoyed it!

debnance said...

Excellent week! Here's to your continued success!

Color Online said...

Hi Tanita,

Family is heavy on my mind, but I have more to say about your book. A great read. Excellent writing.

Thank you all for coming by.

The Brain Lair (KB) said...

I'm adding Mare's War to my I wanna read it list. Thanks for the review.