Since I’m working on catching up on posting about some books I have read, I figured I should maybe post more than one at a time. There are a lot to write about. Here are a few young adult books I have read in the past, um, well, while.
The two-time Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt delivers the shattering story of Joseph, a father at thirteen, who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. After spending time in a juvenile facility, he’s placed with a foster family on a farm in rural Maine. Here Joseph, damaged and withdrawn, meets twelve-year-old Jack, who narrates the account of the troubled, passionate teen who wants to find his baby at any cost. In this riveting novel, two boys discover the true meaning of family and the sacrifices it requires.
Orbiting Jupiter was a short and quick read, but also really sad. I think I came across this one from a friend’s reading list on Goodreads. I liked the book, but it was also too short in my mind. I would have liked more about the characters. I didn’t know that it was going to be so short when I started it, so I was surprised and a bit disappointed. Had I known its length going into it, I might have enjoyed it more. But it was still a good story and a good read if you like underdog stories.
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificent Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. When their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Margo has disappeared. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Embarking on an exhilarating adventure to find her, the closer Q gets, the less he sees the girl he thought he knew.
I have only read one other book by John Green (The Fault in Our Stars), but I had mixed feelings about Paper Towns. I was really excited to read this book, but I found the story to be a bit slow at the beginning. I liked the story and the idea, but the book didn’t end the way I expected (which isn’t bad). I don’t really know what it was exactly that kept me from really connecting to this book, but when I finished it I just felt kind of meh about it. If you like other John Green books, you will probably enjoy this one. I still want to read a couple of his other books, but this was just ok. I even started the movie and wasn’t very drawn to it so I didn’t finish watching it. Possibly because I am too old to connect with that age of character very deeply. Who knows. You may love it. But it wasn’t high on my recommendation list.
Shadow on the Mountain recounts the adventures of a 14-year-old Norwegian boy named Espen during World War II. After Nazi Germany invades and occupies Norway, Espen and his friends are swept up in the Norwegian resistance movement. Espen gets his start by delivering illegal newspapers, then graduates to the role of courier and finally becomes a spy, dodging the Gestapo along the way. During five years under the Nazi regime, he gains—and loses—friends, falls in love, and makes one small mistake that threatens to catch up with him as he sets out to escape on skis over the mountains to Sweden.
Shadow on the Mountain was a book my city did for a community-wide reading event called OneBook OneRosemount. They have the author come speak and have an abundance of the books available for reading. I didn’t make it to the author discussion, but I liked the book. I have read a number of books set in WWII. But this was a little different story. More from the kids’ point of view. It was a fast read with some twists. If you don’t enjoy reading books about WWII you may not enjoy this one. But it was a good read if it’s a genre you do enjoy.