Thursday, February 28, 2013

Yay for Young Adult Fiction

Should you happen to have a closet obsession with young adult fiction or should you happen to have or have had a one year old who is excellent at escaping and not so excellent at obedience (YET!), then this post is for you. If not, I've given you fair warning.

The boys and I went to the library yesterday--mostly because if I had to make it through one more tantrum I was going to turn into some kind of eye bulging, tail lashing, fire breathing monster whose roar of exasperation would blow the roof off the house--and we returned with our book bag stretched to its sturdy canvas limits. Our book bag runneth over, which, of course, is perfection, and this time there were even two books included for me. This doesn't happen very often because the boys run straight for the children's section when we arrive and by the time I've managed to drag them out of it, they've exhausted their store of good behaviour and, instead of letting me browse peacefully, rampage throughout the library, wreaking havoc, and causing me to want to tear my hair out. Or turn into a monster. I choose not to subject myself to that for obvious reasons.

Yesterday, however, Tiny amused himself by escaping the children's section and running through the stacks, looking over his shoulder to make sure I was chasing him, and grinning cheekily. Because I am quick and my legs are twice as long as he is tall, he only made it to the young adult section before I caught him (all five times) during which time I managed to snag Claire Legrand's The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls and Rick Riordan's The Serpent's Shadow (remember when I went through that massive Rick Riordan phase two years ago?). At any rate, all I've been doing the last 30 hours has been reading. It's been great. And the wonderful thing about reading YA Fiction is that you can read two 300 some page books in that space of time if you really put your mind to it. And I did.

So last night, while the Man balanced our budget (because he's a real adult), I polished off The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, which was surprisingly well written and deliciously creepy, if you go in for that sort of thing. Normally, I don't. I still don't get the whole horror movie thing or haunted houses for that matter. There are enough things that scare me in life without me going to look for them. But... But... I made a happy exception for Claire Legrand. And the illustrations by Sarah Watts added just the right touch. Not many YA books include illustrations these days, and it was a nice addition. Premise of the story: twelve year old, type A heroine, Victoria Wright, discovers that her best friend is missing--and no one else notices. I will say: a little Stepford Wives, but it kept me on my toes. I did, however, have to go browse Pinterest for an hour after I finished reading just so I could de-creepify myself.

Today, in between being mostly good and while diligently playing legos with the boys, I finished The Serpent's Shadow, the third book in the Kane Chronicles, which fictionalizes and modernizes Egyptian mythology (a pair of siblings saves the world--huzzah!). Rick Riordan satisfies a part of me that has been fascinated by mythology since I was a kid--initially it was just Greek and Roman mythology that piqued my interested, but then I read Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, and I lost it for Egyptian mythology too. I have no explanation for why I'm so intrigued by wacko stories of old gods and goddesses. I just am. And Riordan's books are action packed and funny. I'm not saying that the writing is the most beautiful I've ever experienced, but they're fun books. And when you finish them, you finish happy, which says something. So happy, in fact, that I went and mopped the kitchen (all shepherds and their sheep survived--probably because I did a preemptive strike and moved them to a neutral zone before I mopped). Quick aside: if you haven't read Mara, Daughter of the Nile stop reading this paltry blog, go find it, and allow your life to be forever bettered.

At any rate, I will now return to my adult self and get back to other things in life, but I want you to know that I'm pretty sure Tiny is going to have fantastic taste in books when he grows up. Most of the books we brought home were culled from the dozens he cheerily de-shelved, and we have got a good batch this time around. I'm hoping this lasts because if I have to read another Bob the Builder book, someone is going to pay.


  1. I will have to check out those books!
    I used to have that problem of not being able to browse because of the Cute Gremlins holding me captive in the children's section, but I found a solution: The Pines Library online.

    I log in with my library card and search/browse away to my heart's content while at home (usually when the CGs are asleep), and put things on hold to be sent to my local branch. Then they call/email me when the items are in. They will hold them for a week, so sometimes I let a couple pile up and then when we go to check out the CGs books, mine are waiting for me!!!!

    I hope maybe you can make this work for you! Sounds like you deserve it for chasing Tiny all over! :) You are an awesome mom!

  2. PS- Did you ever get my comment asking for your mailing address? I just wondered.