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).

Thursday, June 27, 2013

ICEFALL by Matthew Kirby and INFINITY AND ME by Kate Hosford

At our last meeting we had stimulating discussions of both books. We were divided 4-4-1 on Icefall. Four of us loved it, four didn't, and one was ambivalent. Those who loved it noted that they thought the writing was wonderful -- even poetic; they liked the inclusion of Norse mythology; they loved how the story showed the growth of the main character, Solveig, as she dealt with issues of family, sibling rivalry, death, hunger, survival, love, and betrayal, and -- best of all -- they loved how the 'power of story' played such a signifant part in the narrative. The others weren't so thrilled by the writing, wanted a more realistic portrayal of Norse history, and didn't feel at all engaged by the characters. 

As for the picture book, Infinity and Me, we also didn't have consensus. We all agreed that it was a good way to attempt to explain the concept of infinity to young readers, and we liked the author's notes at the end of the story. Some of us felt the story was just OK, but didn't love the illustrations. People who had read the book to young children reported that the children's reactions were positive, so one could assume that that fact may be more important than what a group of grown-up ladies thinks!

1 comment:

  1. Of Icefall, I loved the title because of the image, cold climes, and epic denouement that it evokes. I liked the world in the book, in large part because it's the kind of natural landscape to which I am strongly attracted.

    The book was easy to read, despite the somewhat lumbering prose, though it seemed fitting for unsophisticated Viking brutes. Some readers might love the made-up composed words, while others might find that more than about three gets tiresome.

    The mystery of who's the in-house traitor is gripping, the answer unexpected in more than one way, and the resolution of mythical proportions. I was surprised at the number of deaths in a juvenile book, but they were not graphic or gory, and after all, they were true to this Viking world.

    I would love to see this as a big screen movie!