WELCOME! Once a month, usually on a Thursday evening, a group of writers, illustrators, teachers and librarians meets in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles to discuss children's books. Usually we talk about one picture book and one middle grade or YA novel. After the meeting, Sandy Schuckett, a retired LAUSD librarian, summarizes our discussion. Here are her reports of our thoughts about the books we have read. We'd love to have your comments too!
Thanks to Nancy Hayashi for our wonderful title art! Our group has been meeting since 2007. It was organized under the auspices of the Children's Literature Council of Southern California (CLCSC).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

SON by Lois Lowry and ZEN SHORTS by Jon Muth

Our last meeting was small but terrific. After a delicious dinner of Anne's famous Holiday Lasagna and tasty sides and desserts brought by all we had a great discussion. For the first time in recent memory, we all agreed on both books!
Re: Son, the Lois Lowery book, we felt that although it was beautifully written, there was some disconnect between the three 'worlds' the book portrays. None of us liked the idea of the 'Trademaster,' and pretty much everything that happened after 'Claire' met him. Many felt that it was a definite 'mother' book, especially knowing that Lowery had lost her own son in a terrible accident, and was maybe trying to reconcile her feelings about that. We didn't feel that it really 'wrapped up' the story of The Giver as we had hoped it would. .....and so it goes.
As for the picture book, Zen Shorts, we also all agreed that although Muth's illustrations were quite wonderful, the story (actually 4 stories) itself left a bit to be desired. We thought the three 'fables' (the Zen Shorts) could have stood alone, and really had little to do with the 'story' of the three siblings.....which we thought was pretty weak. We weren't sure how much today's kids would actually 'get' the fables, but we thought that being exposed to them was a good idea.